Guam rejects lesbian couple’s marriage license application

Loretta M. Pangelinan, 28, holds the application for a marriage license that she and her fiancee, Kathleen M. Aguero, 28, will turn in at the Office of Vital Statistics in the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services on Wedneday, April 8, 2015.

Loretta M. Pangelinan, 28, holds the application for a marriage license that she and her fiancee, Kathleen M. Aguero, 28, will turn in at the Office of Vital Statistics in the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services on Wedneday, April 8, 2015. Grace O. Garces Bordallo, AP

Loretta M. Pangelinan, 28, holds the application for a marriage license that she and her fiancee, Kathleen M. Aguero, 28, will turn in at the Office of Vital Statistics in the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services on Wedneday, April 8, 2015. Grace O. Garces Bordallo, AP

Loretta M. Pangelinan, 28, holds the application for a marriage license that she and her fiancee, Kathleen M. Aguero, 28, will turn in at the Office of Vital Statistics in the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services on Wedneday, April 8, 2015.

HAGATNA, Guam — Guam on Wednesday rejected a marriage license application from the first-same sex couple to apply for the document in the U.S. territory.

A Department of Public Health and Social Services clerk refused to accept an application filed by Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero.

“It doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic, but the law is going to prevent me from issuing a marriage license,” department director James Gillan said.

Under Guam law, a marriage license is only issued to a couple of the opposite sex, he said.

R. Todd Thompson, an attorney for Pangelinan and Aguero, said the couple plans to take their case to federal court.

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The U.S. District Court of Guam falls under the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. Thompson said he expects the Guam court to follow the appeals court’s decision.

He said his clients are aware that the U.S. Supreme Court might rule on gay marriage this summer. But he said his clients are unwilling to wait. “They want equality now, not later,” he said.

Pangelinan and Aguero, both 28 years old, have been in a relationship for more than nine years. They are both registered foster parents.

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