Congratulations to the U.S. territory, Guam, for showing the handful of stubborn states still dragging their feet on marriage equality how to take a step forward.
Guam Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson instructed territory officials, Wednesday, to begin including same-sex marriage applications in the mix of everyday processing, thereby making Guam the first of five U.S. territories to shift into legalizing same-sex marriage. Barrett-Anderson said “all same gender marriage applications [should be handled] with dignity and equality under the Constitution.”
The decision comes only a couple of days after one same-sex couple, Loretta M. Pangelinan and Kathleen M. Aguero, legally challenged Guam’s matrimonial laws in the territory’s U.S. District Court, Monday, due to being prohibited from applying for a wedding license the week before. The two are 28 years old, nine years into their relationship, and are registered together as foster parents – the epitome of a stable, healthy and committed relationship.
You can see coverage of the couple’s application denial below:
There is some static in the great laundry basket of love, however. Not all the sheets are meadow-fresh in the sunshine factory of marriage equality. According to “The Huffington Post,” The Department of Public Health and Social Services’ Acting Director, Leo Casil, informed the Pacific Daily News that same-sex applications would not be accepted “until further notice.”
Casil’s stance is not too tough, though. He merely points out that the pronouncement by Barrett-Anderson was in the form of a letter, not an official legal position. However, the territory’s governor’s office stated it would release a statement later that same day, Wednesday.
Barrett-Anderson rests her position on a decision made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last October which concluded same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.
Leave it to the territories to show the United States how to be “America,” right?