United States: Following San Francisco's example, a surprising local authority has started issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples. Two women were first to exchange vows in Sandoval County (population: about 90,000) near Albuquerque, New Mexico. State law defines marriage as a civil contract between two people, and makes no reference to sex.
When [County Clerk Victoria] Dunlop made her decision she said she had not been approached by any same-sex couple seeking a license but after reading about the recent court decision in Massachusetts which has similar laws she became concerned that a refusal could end up in a lengthy and expensive court battle which the county would not win.
This office won't say no until shown it's not permissible, said Dunlap.
Chicago mayor Richard Daley said he would have no problem whatsoever if the county'clerk's office followed in San Francisco's footsteps, and had strong words for those who claim it would undermine marriage:
Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage, he said.
You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it.
Cambodia: Much further afield, the Cambodian king has said he has absolutely no problem with same-sex couples getting married.
The king said that as a
liberal democracy, Cambodia should allow
marriage between man and man... or between woman and woman.
He said he had respect for homosexual and lesbians and said they were as they were because God loved a
wide range of tastes.
Sihanouk, who is currently in Beijing for medical treatment, also said that transvestites should be
accepted and well-treated in our national community.
Such views do not represent the mainstream opinion in Cambodia, but will hopefully prove influential with both parliament (King Norodom Sihanouk is a constitutional monarch, like Queen Elizabeth, with no executive power) and the population as a whole. New Mexico Clerk Issues Gay Marriage Licenses—365gay.com, 20th February 2004; Another US state for gay marriage?—Gay.com News, 20th February 2004; Cambodian king backs gay marriage—BBC News, 20th February 2004.