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Officials in Benton County, Oregon were scheduled to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but reneged after the state's Attorney General said the county clerk would be arrested if any such licenses were issued.

In what is considered a first in American history, a judge in Multnomah County, Oregon, has ruled that a transgender person may legally change his or her sex to “non-binary,” replacing the designation of male or female, based on biology.

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California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and a number of interest groups sued to end the practice.

About 4,000 such licenses were issued before the California Supreme Court ordered a halt to the practice on March 11.

Republican consultant Ed Rollins and California Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte thought scenes from these marriages would help recruit Republican voters to the polls in the 2004 election. Representative from Massachusetts Barney Frank, himself openly gay, criticized San Francisco's actions, saying it was a "symbolic point" that diverted attention from the real struggle for gay rights.

On the other hand, Newsom and San Francisco successfully upstaged the Massachusetts marriages that occurred two months later, which would have reflected even more strongly on the Democratic presidential candidate that year, John Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts. For a brief time following the San Francisco events, several city or county officials in Sandoval County, New Mexico, New Paltz, New York, Multnomah County, Oregon, and Asbury Park, New Jersey also issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

On May 25, the state Supreme Court held hearings on the legality of issuing the licenses.