Officials in Jackson County, Missouri said Monday they would not defend the state's ban on gay marriage in a lawsuit filed by the Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last week.

In its challenge, the ACLU is representing two gay couples who were denied marriage licenses in Kansas City.

Lawyers representing Kyle Lawson and Evan Dahlgren and Angela Curtis and Shannon McGinty argued that the ban violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

According to Kansas City Public Media, Jackson County has decided against fighting the lawsuit.

“The arc of history is to allow more marriages, not fewer, and I think ultimately that's where we're going as a nation,” said Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders. “I think courts may get there, though, before public opinion.”

The lawsuit's only named defendant is Robert Kelly, director of the Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds.

The lawsuit was filed a day before St. Louis officials issued marriage licenses to four gay couples to challenge the ban. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued the city on the following day, though he said he personally supports marriage equality.

(Related: St. Louis marries four gay couples to “force the issue” of marriage equality.)

Missouri voters in 2004 overwhelmingly (70%) approved the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.