Guam same-sex marriage case won’t wait for Supreme Court ruling

Guam

Guam

HAGATNA, Guam — A lawsuit challenging Guam’s same-sex marriage ban will move forward later this month after a federal judge decided against postponing it until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on gay nuptials this summer.

But U.S. District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood gave Guam’s governor and the department that denied a lesbian couple a marriage license some extra time to work with a private attorney, The Pacific Daily News reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1EoBmKi ).

That’s because Guam’s attorney general has taken a different position from Gov. Eddie Calvo, saying the U.S. territory should issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson appointed a local attorney to defend Calvo and the Office of Vital Statistics registrar because she will not do so.

Loretta M. Pangelinan and Kathleen M. Aguero, both 28, sued April 13 after the registrar refused them a license because Guam law defines marriage as a union between two people of the opposite sex.

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The couple based their lawsuit on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in favor of same-sex marriage. The U.S. District Court of Guam falls under the 9th Circuit.

If Guam allows same-sex marriage, it would be the first U.S. territory to do so.

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