- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Kansas City’s mayor says he would take actions similar to that of his St. Louis counterpart on same-sex marriage - if the city’s charter allowed it.

Four same-sex couples were married Thursday in St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s office to challenge Missouri’s constitutional prohibition against gay marriage. A federal appeals court in Denver ruled on Wednesday that states cannot prevent gay couples from marrying.

Joni Wickham, spokeswoman for Kansas City Mayor Sly James, says the city’s council-manager form of government prevents James from making unilateral decisions on gay marriage. Slay heads a strong mayor form of government and has the authority to take actions like those Thursday.

Also, St. Louis is unique among Missouri cities in that it is not part of any county and handles its own marriage licenses, Wickham said. Thus, Slay had the power to direct the city clerk to issue the licenses while such documents in much of Kansas City are handled by Jackson County.

Officials in Springfield and Columbia say they have seen no signs of similar decisions by their municipal leaders.

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