Massachusetts sanctions gay marriages

Monday 17 May 2004 19.47
George W Bush - Opposes same sex marriage
George W Bush - Opposes same sex marriage

Same sex marriages have become legal in the US state of Massachusetts, making it the first American state to sanction gay weddings.

The issue had sharply divided America, and court challenges and constitutional amendments were planned to outlaw such unions. 

US President George W Bush opposes the marriages, while his likely Democratic opponent, John Kerry, favours limited legal recognition.