Guam Hub

Guam Lesbian Couple Presses On in Legal Battle Over Marriage Equality


Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan, the lesbian couple challenging Guam’s same-sex marriage ban are not giving up on their fight to bring equality to U.S. territory. Earlier this week the couple’s joint legal team further pressed Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to dismantle the ban ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision. They are now moving for a summary judgement that would technically allow gay marriage in Guam ahead of the Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling.

Previously Guam’s Governor, Eddie Calvo, suggested that Guam’s courts hold off on making any sort of move to strike down the gay marriage ban until after the Supreme Court’s decision. The couple’s legal team, which already gave the Governor’s defense time to prepare and introduce new arguments, feels as if their opposition is merely stalling the inevitable.

"This court has already considered and rejected the defendants' calls to 'wait and see' what the U.S. Supreme Court does or does not do," Aguero and Pangelinan’s attorneys expressed in a written statement.  "The material facts are undisputed, the controlling law is undisputed. The issues could not be clearer. Frankly, neither could the outcome. 

Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan’s next court date is set for June 5th.

In related news, marriage equality plaintiff Jim Obergefell is expected to speak at the University of Guam spring graduation on Sunday. 

Guam Native And 'Millionaire Matchmaker' Star Pleads With Territory's Governor For Marriage Equality: VIDEO

David Cruz III

Gay The Millionaire Matchmaker cast member David Cruz III has written to Guam Governor Eddie Calvo urging him to follow the law and approve same-sex marriage for the island and also recorded a heartfelt video, reports

The open letter reads:

“My name is David Cruz and I am a current cast member of Bravo TV's ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker.’ I spend a good part of my life setting people up and helping people find love. “But, recently something has come my way that has broken my heart.

"Last week I was saddened to hear that the Governor of Guam, the island where I grew up, is denying gay men and women their legal right to marry - EVEN after being issued a legal memorandum to do so from the Attorney General of Guam.

“I was compelled to voice my opinion about this matter as I am not only a son of Guam having grown up on the island, but also as a gay man. I spend every moment of my life helping people find love and giving advice about relationships, so I cannot stand by and watch my own community of LGBT people be discriminated against.”

Watch Cruz’s video in support of same-sex marriage in Guam, AFTER THE JUMP

Yesterday we reported that Anthony Apuron, the Archbishop of Guam, described being gay as an “intrinsically moral evil” and insisted that the only way to deal with homosexuality is to think of it as a disorder to be treated.


Continue reading "Guam Native And 'Millionaire Matchmaker' Star Pleads With Territory's Governor For Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »

Archbishop of Guam Calls Homosexuality 'Intrinsically Moral Evil' as Governor Continues His Gay Marriage Stonewall

Screenshot 2015-04-20 16.11.59

Anthony Apuron, the Archbishop of Guam, has finally broken his silence and expressed his views on Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson’s recent assertion that Guam’s public servants cannot reject marriage applications submitted by same-sex couples. Apuron laid out his official stance in Umantuna Si Yu’os, the newsletter of a local archdiocese insisting that an acceptance of homosexuality was fundamentally antithetical to his Catholic beliefs. Apuron describes the very concept of being gay as an “intrinsically moral evil” and insists that the only way to deal with homosexuality on a wide scale is to think of it as a disorder to be treated.

At the core of Apuron’s beliefs is the contention that marriage and family, instead of the law, exist as the focal point of modern society. Allowing gays to marry, he argues, would fundamentally alter the definition of marriage and subsequently pose a significant threat to people on a large scale.

“[LGBT-supporters] are trying to shift the problem only to the religious sphere but that is not the case here,” Apuron said in an interview he gave to the AP that he republished in the newsletter. “Same-sex marriage is not only against the faith, but goes against Right Reason that pursues the common good of society, and is an anthropological reduction.”

“Scripture is very clear when it says: God created male and female. There are anthropological, physical, and psychological differences that allows a complimentary unity. The sexual differences have a meaning; sexuality is not only biological but personal; it carries a language.

The body has a language, has grammar, has a synthesis, a truth. Man and woman are called to communion to complement each other, what St. John Paul II called: Communion of Persons. Same-sex unions, completely and totally breaks these meanings, destroys the language, and only generates anthropological, juridical and ethical confusion.”

In other Guam news, Gov. Eddie Calvo is continuing to hedge on the issue of same-sex marriage despite the attorney general's legal memorandum. This has led Lambda Legal to issue a press release stating “Let us be clear: Every same–sex couple in the states that form part of the Ninth Circuit can marry and have been able to do so for months." 

Guam Attorney General Orders Territory to Process Gay Marriage Licenses But Agencies Resist


In a press conference earlier today, Guam's Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson ordered officials to process same-sex marriage applications beginning immediately. Barrett-Anderson sent a legal memorandum to Public Health's acting Director Leo Casil. Barrett-Anderson's memo:

"The Department is advised to treat all same gender marriage applicants with dignity and equality under the Constitution of our nation, and the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...While the (Public Health) Department was acting in accordance with Guam law, the Ninth Circuit's recent decision has rendered Guam's marriage statute legally unenforceable until such time that the Supreme Court of the United States alters the holding of the Ninth Circuit of Appeals."

Guam couple Loretta M. Pangelinan and Kathleen M. Aguero (below) applied for a marriage license earlier this week and were denied. They then filed a lawsuit in federal court.

Barrett-Anderson had released a statement earlier this week saying she is "deferring answering further questions on the issue of gay marriage until a later time."

Casil, who heads the agency which issues marriage licenses, responded, saying it will make a decision by Friday: "From my side, I just received a letter. It's not a legal opinion. It's a letter urging to issue the marriage licenses from the attorney general."

The department is looking to the governor's office for their decision, because the governor is listed as a defendant in the federal lawsuit filed Monday, Casil said.

Guampdn adds:

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.

Watch Barrett-Anderson speak about her decision to order officials to process licenses,


Continue reading "Guam Attorney General Orders Territory to Process Gay Marriage Licenses But Agencies Resist" »

Guam Rejects Gay Couple’s Marriage License Application, Attorney General Declines To Comment Until ‘Later Time’


Guam couple Loretta M. Pangelinan and Kathleen M. Aguero’s marriage license application, the first to be submitted in the U.S. territory, was rejected by a Department of Public Health and Social Service clerk this week, the AP reported. Under Guam law a marriage license is only issued to opposite sex couples.

The U.S. District Court of Guam falls under the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has ruled in favor of marriage equality. Pangelinan and Aguero’s attorney, R. Todd Thompson, says the couple plans on taking their case to federal court and that he expects the Guam court to follow the appeals court’s precedent. Although many same-sex couples on Guam usually fly to Hawaii or Washington to marry, Pangelinan and Aguero wish to marry in Guam so their friends and family may all attend.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 6.59.05 AMGuam’s Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson said that she is "deferring answering further questions on the issue of gay marriage until a later time." Barrett-Anderson’s statement issued to Pacific Daily News came a day after she issued a public statement that the island’s health department was, "Acting in compliance with Guam law," when it denied Pangelinan and Aguero’s marriage application on Wednesday. On April 9, Barrett-Anderson said, "Whether Guam’s statutes will stand or fail will soon be definitely decided by the Supreme Court of the United States for our entire nation and upon that decision Guam will abide."

Of the five U.S. Pacific and Caribbean territories, only Puerto Rico has faced a marriage rights lawsuit for gay and lesbian couples. The federal judge of Puerto Rico rejected the suit. The case later appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, but Puerto Rico’s Justice Department stated last month that it would not defend its own laws banning gay marriage, with Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda stating that the government can no longer continue to discriminate against the gay community.

Watch a report on the couple and the license denial, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Guam Rejects Gay Couple’s Marriage License Application, Attorney General Declines To Comment Until ‘Later Time’" »

Watch: Congressman Worried About Guam Tipping Over, Capsizing


Questioning testimony about the transfer of thousands of U.S. troops to Guam because of Japanese unease at their presence in Okinawa, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) last week expressed concern that the weight of the additional people on the island would cause it to tip over and possibly capsize.


Johnson later released a statement claiming he was using a metaphor about its "overstressed infrastructure."

Continue reading "Watch: Congressman Worried About Guam Tipping Over, Capsizing" »


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