The same-sex marriages might have taken place in St. Louis, but the legal fight against Missouri’s ban on them is shaping up in Kansas City where the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds has done what his St. Louis counterpart did not do. He has refused to issue licenses to two same-sex couples, one female and one male.
That has created plaintiffs who say they have been wronged, and a defendant they say wronged them.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says his county is just a forum. “When you grant the licenses, like what happened in St. Louis it doesn’t provide the vehicle to go forward. The plaintiffs can only sue if they’re denied their marriage license. So what we provided for them is the opportunity to have their cases heard in court,” Sanders says.
The lawsuit has been filed in the Jackson County circuit court, where Sanders says the fight will start. He says the case in Jackson County is more “pure” than the case in St. Louis.
Sanders says the County will not pay for the Recorder’s defense. He says the issue is the state law, and defending it is the Attorney General’s job. The Attorney General’s office says it’s evaluating the suit.