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
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 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
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
Louis marries four gay couples to “force the issue” of marriage
Missouri voters in 2004 overwhelmingly
(70%) approved the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage
as a heterosexual union.