A Kentucky clerk says she is not going to interfere with her deputies issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples.
But Kim Davis added that she is not authorising the licences and questions whether they are valid.
The Rowan County Clerk read from a hand-written statement on her first day back in the office after a stint in jail for five days for defying a federal judge.
She choked up as she was speaking, saying she was torn between obeying her God and following the judge's orders.
Ms Davis, an Apostolic Christian, stopped issuing licences after the Supreme Court legalised gay marriage, in defiance of a series of court orders.
US District Judge David Bunning held her in contempt and ordered her to jail. In her absence, her deputies have issued at least seven licenses to gay couples.