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Kansas City, Mo., moves to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

Kansas City, Mo., moves to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City leaders are fighting back against a Missouri legislative effort to stop the city from recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City, Mo.

A Jackson County judge in October ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states, but Republican legislative leaders are seeking to appeal that ruling. Kansas City filed a motion Friday opposing the Legislature’s efforts to intervene, The Kansas City Star reported.

The city also is expected to revise its pension plan to include benefits for same-sex couples.

“The city’s position is we’re in support of gay marriage,” City Councilman Ed Ford said. “We believe both the city and state should give full faith and credit to gay marriages that take place outside of the state.”

Kansas City was a defendant in a lawsuit in which same-sex couples married in other states argued that Missouri and Kansas City were violating their rights by not recognizing their marriages and by not providing the equal benefits as those given to employees in heterosexual marriages.

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On Oct. 3, Jackson County Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs ordered the state to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Republican leaders then filed a motion seeking to appeal the case to the Missouri Supreme Court.

After discussing the lawmakers’ motion in a closed session Thursday, the council directed the city’s Law Department to file a response. The motion filed Friday argued that the legislature has no authority to be a party in the case and that same-sex city employees have already begun registering for new benefits.

A City Council committee is expected to consider an ordinance this week that would allow pension benefits for same-sex spouses.

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