Missouri’s Jackson County will not fight a lawsuit challenging Missouri’s current ban on same-sex marriage.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says he won’t spend taxpayer money to defend the ban as it is not the county’s obligation to defend the actions of the state.

Sanders feels that the lawsuit, which was filed on 24 June by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri on behalf of two same-sex couples, should be handled by the attorney general.

He said: “Ultimately, that’s going to fall on the Legislature and/or the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kyle Lawson and Evan Dahlgren and Angela Curtis and Shannon McGinty after they were denied marriage licenses in Kansas City.

While Missouri’s constitutional provision limiting marriage to one man and one woman was approved by voters in 2004, the ban violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the US Constitution.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office had no comment about the Jackson County decision not to fight the lawsuit.

Last month, four same-sex couples were allowed to marry in St Louis, despite the state constitutionally banning same-sex marriage. The move, which was confirmed by St Louis Mayor Francis Slay, was a direct challenge to the state’s authority to regulate marriage.