Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday issued an executive order removing the names of county clerks from the state's marriage licenses.

The move follows a protracted legal battle over issuing such licenses to gay and lesbian couples by Rowan County clerk Kim Davis.

Davis was jailed for nearly a week for refusing to comply with a judge's ruling ordering her to issue marriage licenses to all qualified couples. Davis declined to issue the licenses citing religious reasons.

Former Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, had refused Davis' request for her name to be removed from the licenses.

“I can't put my name on a license that doesn't represent what God ordained marriage to be,” Davis said earlier this year.

Bevin's order states that its purpose is to “ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the plaintiffs who sued Davis, said in a statement that Bevin does not have the authority to strike the clerks' names from the licenses.

“The requirement that the county clerk's name appear on marriage licenses is prescribed by Kentucky law and is not subject to unilateral change by the governor – conceded by the previous administration in court filing,” the ACLU said.