On 12 August 2015, the Guam Senate by a 13-2 vote margin approved a bill that amends the island’s legal code to create “equality in civil marriage”. Lawmakers also unanimously passed an LGBT anti-discrimination measure [R1.5].
On 16 April 2015, it was reported that the acting Director of the Public Health department Leo Casil is defying the Attorney General’s order to issue same-sex marriage licenses, because he says he’s been told not to follow it – for now [R1.4].
On 15 April 2015, Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson directed officials to immediately begin processing same-sex-marriage applications following the filing of a legal challenge by lesbian couple Kathleen M Agueri and Loretta M Pangelinan to the territory’s marriage laws, after they were barred from submitting an application for a license to wed [R1.3].
Guam law does not explicitly make same-sex marriages unlawful.
Guam Code Annotated. Title 19 Personal Relations. Division 1 – Persons & Personal Relation. Chapter 3 provides:
§ 3101. What constitutes Marriage
Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract, to which the consent of parties capable of making that contract is necessary” [R1.2].
§ 3107. Marriage Outside of Guam
All marriages contracted outside of the territory of Guam, which would be valid by the laws of the country in which the same were contracted, are valid in the territory of Guam [R1.2]
§ 3108. Choices of Name Upon Marriage.
Upon entering into a contract of marriage a woman may elect to retain her maiden name as her surname. Upon entering into a contract of marriage, either spouse may elect to hyphenate his or her surname with the surname of the other spouse. Intention of the exercise of said election shall be indicated upon the marriage license application as provided for by § 3202 of this Title [R1.2].
On 08 April 2015, a Department of Public Health and Social Services clerk refused to accept a same-sex marriage license application filed by Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero, saying that under Guam law, a marriage license is only issued to a couple of the opposite sex. The US district court of Guam falls within the 9th US circuit court of appeals jurisdiction, which has ruled in favor of gay marriage [R1.1].