OZARK, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri fire department that was considering extending benefits to an employee who is in a same-sex marriage has been told the state's Constitution won't allow it.

Last week, the Ozark Fire Department appeared ready to change its policy so it could offer the benefits to female captain Andi Mooneyham.

The Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/YYc1tM ) the department's attorney told its board that the Missouri Constitution does not allow the policy change because of an amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Jay Johnson, a fire board member who supported changing the policy last week, said the board apparently has no recourse.

Mooneyham says she plans to seek other legal opinions to determine if there is some way to receive the benefits.

___

Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com