Guam lifts same-sex marriage ban

2015-04-15 09:06


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hagatna - The Pacific US territory of Guam announced on Wednesday it was lifting a ban on same-sex marriages rather than defend a lawsuit brought by a gay couple who had their marriage licence application rejected.

In a major policy reversal, Guam attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson said she had ordered officials to immediately begin processing marriage licence applications from same-sex couples.

"Today I have issued a legal memorandum... advising the department to immediately begin accepting and processing applications for marriage licences from persons of the same gender," she said in a statement.

Barrett-Anderson said the decision came in the wake of a lawsuit filed last week by Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero, two 28-year-olds in a long-term relationship who wanted to be married.

They filed a lawsuit this week after officials said they could not issue a marriage licence because Guam's marriage statute said matrimony could take place only "between a man and a woman".

Barrett-Anderson, who last week argued that officials were simply upholding the law, said a review had found "Guam's statute prohibiting same gender marriages [is] unenforceable".

A lawyer for Pangelinan and Aguero, R Todd Thompson, said his clients were delighted with the decision.

"It's a great moral victory," he told AFP. "She has said exactly what we said in our briefs, that the law is settled and as a legal matter there is no dispute here."

However, he was concerned at unconfirmed reports that Guam Governor Eddie Calvo would continue to block same-sex marriage, despite Barrett-Anderson's revised position.

"If this is true then it means our lawsuit will continue," he said. "It will not be over until our clients are married."

Read more on:    guam  |  gay rights

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.