First same-sex couple to marry in a U.S. territory ties the knot in Guam

Deasia Johnson, second from left, and Nikki Dismuke, second from right, hold up their marriage license as they pose for a photo with Loretta M. Pangelinan, left and Kathleen M. Aguero at the Department of Public Health and Social Services in Mangilao, Guam, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Guam became the first U.S. territory to recognize gay marriage.

Deasia Johnson, second from left, and Nikki Dismuke, second from right, hold up their marriage license as they pose for a photo with Loretta M. Pangelinan, left and Kathleen M. Aguero at the Department of Public Health and Social Services in Mangilao, Guam, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Guam became the first U.S. territory to recognize gay marriage. Rick Cruz, The Pacific Daily (AP)

Deasia Johnson, second from left, and Nikki Dismuke, second from right, hold up their marriage license as they pose for a photo with Loretta M. Pangelinan, left and Kathleen M. Aguero at the Department of Public Health and Social Services in Mangilao, Guam, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Guam became the first U.S. territory to recognize gay marriage. Rick Cruz, The Pacific Daily (AP)

Deasia Johnson, second from left, and Nikki Dismuke, second from right, hold up their marriage license as they pose for a photo with Loretta M. Pangelinan, left and Kathleen M. Aguero at the Department of Public Health and Social Services in Mangilao, Guam, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Guam became the first U.S. territory to recognize gay marriage.

HAGATNA, Guam — There were no flowers. There was no music. The onlookers witnessing Guam’s first wedding of a same-sex couple were mostly members of the media.

“It’s my privilege to officiate at this. Do you take each other to share your lives, to promise to take good care of one another for as long as you live?” Public Health Director James Gillan asked.

“I do,” said Deasia Johnson of Killeen, Texas.

“I do,” answered her bride, Nikki Dismuke of New Orleans.

“By the power vested in me by the laws of Guam, I pronounce you married,” Gillan said before the two military members kissed to solemnize their vows.

With those words, in a ceremony that lasted less than a minute in Gillan’s office, Johnson and Dismuke became the first gay couple to be legally married in a U.S. territory.

Guam got that distinction Tuesday after a federal judge last week struck down the island territory’s ban, saying it was unconstitutional.

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Loretta M. Pangelinan, 28, and Kathleen M. Aguero, 29, sued to overturn the territory’s law after being denied a marriage application in April. They based their lawsuit on the prevailing opinion from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had approved gay marriage in western U.S. states. Guam falls under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court.

Pangelinan and Aguero arrived at the Office of Vital Statistics on Tuesday morning, where numbers were placed on a table for people to take their turns at the window. Their card said No. 4.

Johnson and Dismuke had picked up the No. 1 card, but they gladly let Pangelinan and Aguero go in front of them out of respect. They then asked that Pangelinan and Aguero be witnesses for them.

“How can you not be emotional?” said Pangelinan, who began to cry when she heard the request.

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