John M. Becker

Guam May Become 1st U.S. Territory With Marriage Equality

Filed By John M. Becker | April 15, 2015 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, Guam, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

guam-map.gifGreat news from the U.S. territory of Guam: today, the attorney general of the western Pacific island directed officials to immediately begin processing marriage license applications from same-sex couples.

The AP reports:

Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson's instructions came two days after a lesbian couple filed a legal challenge to the territory's marriage laws after they were barred from submitting an application for a license to wed.

But Leo Casil, the acting director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, told the Pacific Daily News that officials won't accept applications "until further notice."

Casil said he just received a letter from Barrett-Anderson, not a legal opinion.

Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo's office in a statement said, "While this current legal issue is being reviewed, 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."

Barrett-Anderson based her directive on a ruling issued last October by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. The 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over Guam.

Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to resolve the marriage equality issue long before a referendum can be held in Guam.

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