Main | Wednesday, April 15, 2015

GUAM: AG Directs Territory To Issue Marriage Licenses, Governor Says No

Following a lawsuit filed last week, Guam Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson has declared that same-sex marriage licenses are to be issued immediately, saying that the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court in the case brought against Idaho is applicable. Guam would become the first US territory to issue same-sex marriage licenses, but for now GOP Gov. Eddie Calvo is standing in the way.
Gov. Eddie Calvo and Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio issued a statement on the gay marriage issue. Although they respect the opinion of Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson that Guam should allow same-sex marriage immediately, the administration is deferring a decision, according to the statement. "If it is the will of the people of Guam to make same-sex marriage legal on Guam, then the Guam Legislature, the people of Guam’s representatives, can take action to change the law, or a referendum can be held giving the people of Guam a direct voice in this issue," the statement read in part. The administration's legal team is reviewing the matter, according to the written statement. A federal lawsuit challenge on Guam's marriage laws will not be withdrawn despite the Guam attorney general's decision to direct the local public health agency to "immediately" start issuing marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples. Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson was "doing the right thing" by directing the Department of Public Health and Social Services to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, Loretta M. Pangelinan and Kathleen M. Aguero said through their attorneys. Pangelinan and Aguero filed the federal suit Monday following Public Health's rejection of their marriage license application last week.
Guam has a population of 160K and is about twice the size of Staten Island. See the statement of Guam's attorney general below.

RELATED: There are five US territories: Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Yesterday the First Circuit Court of Appeals deferred making a ruling on same-sex marriage in Puerto Rico until the US Supreme Court hands down its decision.

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