On June 16, California became the second American state to give the green light to gay marriage. We asked our Observers, from China to Ghana, if there's a chance of seeing the same thing happen in their own countries.
Meema Spadola produced a documentary called Our House about growing up with gay parents. She herself grew up with a lesbian mother and a straight father in Maine, USA.
Gay parents are just like any others. You get the same frustrations, love and clashes at home. It's incredibly normal. The nuclear family has never really been the model. There have always been single parents, extended families etc. This is a very conservative country - change really scares people. But once we elect Obama, everything will change!"
Awab Alvi is a dentist from Karachi, Pakistan.
As a doctor I interact professionally with gays and don't find them offensive. I believe people have their own will and for us to enforce religious elements on that is not fair. They do "get married", secretly, and I suppose, why not? I would advise them not to do it though - if future generations come and can't raise children in the natural sense it will upset the natural course of life. Besides, the male/ female relationship is so entrenched in the Islamic religion that the legalisation of gay marriage wouldn't even happen in 50 years here."
Michael Anti is a political reporter from Beijing, China.
Charles Amega-Selorm is a blogger from Accra, Ghana.
Personally, I'm against gay marriage. I think that homosexuality goes against nature. It spreads diseases and our bodies just weren't designed to do that. On top of that I'm Christian so I find it morally wrong. However, if one of my friends came out to me, I wouldn't outright disown him. I'd respect his choice."
Matthieu Chimbault is the spokesperson for the French LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) Federation.
In France, recent events have shown that even couples that get "pacsed" [agree to a civil partnership agreement less binding than marriage] are not considered the same way as those who are married. During his campaign, Sarkozy proposed the "civil union contract". It's actually a marriage contract, but he doesn't dare run with it bearing his name in fear of a backlash from the electorate. It's a shame because people are ready now."