A federal judge ordered that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis be taken into custody on Thursday over her refusal to issue marriage licenses despite a court order.

Kentucky Public Radio’s Ryland Barton reports:

We’ll have more soon.

Ryland Barton

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will be back in federal court Thursday morning in Ashland. For the past several days, she has defied a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying her religious views prevent her from signing off on them.

An appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court have declined to interject on her behalf. So today's hearing will determine whether Davis is in contempt of U.S. District Judge David Bunning's order last month to resume issuing marriage licenses. She could be fined or even put in jail.

This week, Davis spent much of her days with her office door shut and the blinds down, avoiding people and the media spotlight.

Under normal circumstances, Davis' is responsible for mundane tasks — vehicle registration renewals, running elections — for a county of fewer than 24,000 residents. But this summer, she's found herself at the center of a national controversy.

So who is Kim Davis?

The 49-year-old Democrat was first elected to this post in November. She replaced her mother, Jean Bailey, who served as county clerk for 37 years.

Ludovic Bertron, Wikimedia Commons

The controversy continues to swirl around Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her repeated defying of court orders to issue marriage licenses based on her religious opposition to gay marriage. 

The director of The Fairness Campaign in Kentucky Chris Hartman was in Rowan County this week when several couples were denied marriage licenses and saw how devastated they were. 

“It’s a dehumanizing, demeaning and demoralizing feeling to be told over and over and over again that you are so different and I am so opposed to you that I simply cannot give you the basic right the Supreme Court of the United States has twice affirmed you deserve,” said Hartman.

Hartman said there are only three county clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses out of the 120 clerks in the state. He said he thinks that if those three clerks can’t do their jobs, they should step aside. 

“They’re getting paid to do a job," said Hartman. "They were elected to do that job. The folks of Rowan County and everywhere else deserve to have their basic rights met and these marriage licenses delivered and if they can’t do they need to step aside and let someone who fulfill their role who can.”

Kim Davis and the six deputy clerks in Rowan County have been summoned to a contempt hearing Thursday in Ashland.

Defying legal decisions that go all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky.., clerk, continued to deny marriage licenses on Wednesday in protest of same-sex marriage.

As Kentucky Public Radio's Ryland Barton reports, Davis, who has become a divisive figure in the national debate on same-sex marriage, has been summoned to a federal court on Thursday for a hearing on whether to hold her in contempt.

With that, here's what we know about Davis:

A substitute teacher for the Bowling Green Independent School District is under arrest on child pornography charges. 

A letter that went out Wednesday to staff and parents says Leon Lussier was suspended from employment indefinitely while he is under federal investigation. 

According to Superintendent Gary Fields, Lussier passed background checks before he was hired in 2012.

"On all of our employees, we do state and federal criminal background checks," Fields told WKU Public Radio.  "There were no red flags on those reports, as well as professional references that applicants have to complete, as well."

Fields said the 49-year-old Lussier has worked in all schools buildings in the district, but there’s no indication any of his victims were students.  It's also unlikely that Lussier received or viewed images while on school grounds.

"Our substitute teachers do not have access to logging into the computers or have any access to technology while they're in the building," explained Fields.

Lussier holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has been in education since 1998. 

He was arrested at his home Tuesday and taken to the Warren County Regional Jail.  Lussier is scheduled to appear Friday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.

Update 9:10 p.m.: Beshear’s Statement

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Steve Beshear said “117 of our 120 county clerks are following the law and carrying out their duty to issue marriage licenses regardless of gender.”

Here’s his full statement:

A district judge in Warren County has agreed to serve a one-month suspension from the bench following an investigation by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission. 

The probe found that Judge Sam Potter, Junior’s alcohol dependency affected his job performance.  According to the commission, he appeared in court disheveled and engaged in erratic behavior. 

Potter’s attorney Charles English said while public officials are held to a higher standard, anyone call fall victim to alcohol addiction.

"Even judges are subject to this disease," English told WKU Public Radio.  "Judge Potter unfortunately became an alcoholic, but he's gone through a treatment program now, and fortunately he's cured."

Judge Potter returned to the bench July 1, and English says he has been performing admirably.  Under an agreement with the Judicial Conduct Commission, Potter will serve an unpaid suspension for 30 days beginning December 15.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis continues to deny marriage licenses to couples, one day after the Supreme Court refused to stay a decision ordering her to do so. As a result, Davis now risks being held in contempt of a federal court order.

Rowan County residents David Moore and David Ermold were again denied a marriage license at the Rowan County Clerk’s office Tuesday morning. County Clerk Kim Davis says God’s authority permits her to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She’s also refusing to issue licenses to heterosexual couples to avoid being accused of discrimination, she says.

“I’m willing to face my consequences as you all will face your consequences when it comes time for judgment,” Davis said.

Late Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Davis's appeal of a preliminary injunction to resume issuing marriage licenses. Davis stopped issuing the forms after the high court legalized same-sex marriage in June. Davis could now be held in contempt of U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning’s order to resume issuing marriage licenses.

Pulaski County state senator Chris Girdler wants to change time.

The Somerset republican wants all Kentucky counties bordering Lake Cumberland to be in the Eastern time zone to better accommodate tourism.

The Somerset “Commonwealth Journal” reports Girdler sent a letter to officials in a six county region wanting Clinton, Cumberland and Russell Counties to leave the Central time zone and join Pulaski, McCreary and Wayne counties in moving an hour ahead.

Wayne County made the switch just a few years ago.

Girdler says most of the population around Lake Cumberland is already in the Eastern time zone, as is Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville.

He says having all the counties within the same time zone would improve promotion of Lake Cumberland and the interaction among the counties.

A former police officer and school administrator from Grayson County has pleaded guilty to violating federal and state sex abuse laws, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky. 

Stephen Miller was a police officer in Leitchfield when he resigned from his job following complaints of inappropriate conduct toward women.  The 45-year-old Miller then began working at Bluegrass Challenge Academy, a residential, educational program run by the Kentucky National Guard and located at Fort Knox. 

Miller had supervisory authority over the students.  He pleaded guilty to engaging in abusive sexual conduct with three female students and sodomy with a fourth student.  The incident occurred at the academy over a six-month period in 2013.  Miller faces up to 11 years in prison at his sentencing in November. 

John Smith, who was director of the Bluegrass Challenge Academy, is under indictment for failure to report child abuse.