June 8th, 2015
It’s now 8:00 am on Tuesday morning in Guam and marriage licenses are now available to same-sex couples.
Congratulations to Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero and all the other same-sex couples who now have access to equality.
Marriage equality comes to Guam
June 5th, 2015
Guam is an island about the size of the Hawaiian island of Molokai located between Papua New Guinea and Japan, east of the Philippines. It was a subject of Spanish colonization from 1668 until 1898 when ownership was transferred to the United States as a spoil of the Spanish-American War.
The island is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It is self governed with a Governor and Senate elected by the population of about 160,000 residents, but comes under the federal jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Politically it is considered to be fairly conservative.
In April of this year, Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero filed a lawsuit claiming that the ruling by the Ninth Circuit in favor of marriage equality set precedent for Guam. The Attorney General agreed with the suit and refused to defend the island’s law restricting marriage to opposite sex couples.
Governor Eddie Calvo, a Republican, said that he would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without either an act of the Legislature or a ruling by the court. So yesterday, his counsel went to court and basically begged Federal Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to issue a ruling bringing the territory into compliance with the Ninth Circuit.
Tydingco-Gatewood issued an order Friday (last evening by continental US time) (ABC)
Guam has become the first U.S. territory to recognize gay marriage after a federal judge struck down the prohibition.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood issued the decision after a hearing Friday morning local time. It goes into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday, when gay couples can begin applying for marriage licenses, the Pacific Daily News reported.
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006. She is the first female Chamorro (indigenous) chief judge.
Guam is the first US Territory to recognize same-sex marriages. There is currently a lawsuit in Puerto Rico which is under the jurisdiction of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. But while all of the states in the First Circuit have marriage equality, this was achieved at the state level either through a challenge to the state constitution (Massachusetts), through legislation (New Hampshire and Rhode Island), or by referendum (Maine) so there is no precedent.
LaBarbera Award: The Archbishop of Guam
October 23rd, 2009
Recently the Guam legislature introduced legislation that would create same-sex domestic partnerships. That move prompted this response from the Archdiocese of Agana (Guam) (PDF: 261KB/3 pages):
The culture of homosexuality is a culture of self-absorption because it does not value self·sacrifice. It is a glaring example of what John Paul II has called the culture of death. Islamic fundamentalists clearly understand the damage that homosexual behavior inflicts on a culture. That is why they repress such behavior by death. Their culture is anything but one of self-absorption. It may be brutal at times, but any culture that is able to produce wave after wave of suicide bombers (women as well as men) is a culture that at least knows how to value self-sacrifice. Terrorism as a way to oppose the degeneration of the culture is to be rejected completely since such violence is itself another form of degeneracy. One, however. does not have to agree with the gruesome ways that the fundamentalists use to curb the forces that undermine their culture to admit that the Islamic fundamentalist charge that Western Civilization in general and the U.S.A. in particular is the “Great Satan” is not without an element of truth. It makes no sense for the U. S. Government to send our boys to fight AI Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, while at the same time it embraces the social policies embodied in Bill1SS (as President Obama has done). Such policies only furnish further arguments for the fundamentalists in their efforts to gain more recruits for the war against the “Great Satan.”
[Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan]