Guam Marriage Equality Act of 2015 passed by Guam legislature
FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (August 12, 2015 – Hagåtña, GU) –Bill No. 119-33, the “Guam Marriage Equality Act of 2015” introduced by Senator Nerissa Bretania Underwood, Ph.D. (D) was passed this afternoon by 13 votes in favor and 2 votes in opposition. Those supporting the measure included Speaker Won Pat, Vice Speaker Cruz and Senators Underwood, Respicio, Tom Ada, San Nicolas, Muna Barnes, Tony Ada, Blas, Espaldon, McCreadie, Torres and Morrison; those opposed were Senators Frank Aguon, Jr. and Rodriguez.
Senator Underwood gave her opening remarks on session floor, chronicling the judicial proceedings from the Ninth Circuit to the Guam District Court and finally the landmark decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States that affirmed the right to same sex marriage as a constitutional right across the entire United States.
“It is important to note once again that this legislation brings us into compliance with the Obergefell ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court. This legislation is no longer discretionary on our part. The governor stated through his legal representation in front of the District Court that he would yield to the decision of the Judge. Of course, neither he nor this body has the option of not yielding nor do we have the opportunity to indicate our objection. We could end the justification of this legislation right now and simply state that this is a matter of compliance. We have no choice. We must align our laws with the decisions that have been appropriately made”, said Senator Underwood.
Further, she stated, “this is an historical moment in which we must do more than just obey or comply. It is a time when we must affirm and recognize those in our society who choose to marry members of the same gender because it is not just a matter of compliance; it is a matter of fairness. It is a matter of justice. It is a matter of equality. It is a matter that acknowledges the full humanity of all of our citizens who wish to express their love for another human being through lawful marriage. I thank all those who have paved this way. And while it has taken some time for people organize around and further articulate the need for change, today, we have solidified this endeavor.”
Bill No. 119-33 will be transmitted to the Governor for action.