KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Same-sex marriages began occurring Friday in the Kansas City area after a federal judge declared that Missouri’s ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

The decision, which follows a similar one earlier this week in St. Louis, means that same-sex marriage licenses now are being issued in Missouri’s two largest urban areas. But officials across much of the rest of the state aren’t following suit, asserting that the court cases don’t apply there.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie R. Smith had written Friday that he was delaying the effect of his ruling while it is appealed, but officials in Jackson County announced later in the day that they would immediately begin granting marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, a Democrat, said officials decided to proceed with same-sex marriages because “courts are ruling that marriage is a fundamental right of every citizen.” He added: “Sound public policy dictates that right be applied uniformly across the state.”

But Missouri now has a patchwork of gay marriage policies.

Officials in St. Louis city and county began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a state lower-court judge ruled Wednesday that Missouri’s constitutional ban on gay marriage violated the U.S. Constitution. But officials throughout much of the rest of the state have declined to issue licenses while following guidance from the Records’ Association of Missouri.

Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat who has expressed personal support for gay marriage, has appealed the St. Louis court ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. Koster said Friday that he would appeal the federal court ruling to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In his ruling, Smith wrote that Missouri’s gay marriage ban violated same-sex couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the Constitution. The court finds “no real reason for the State’s decision to dictate that people of the same gender cannot be married,” he wrote.