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Calvo discusses his thoughts on gay marriage

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The first gubernatorial forum officially kicked off Tuesday night at the Guam Community College where Governor Eddie Calvo addressed an array of issues from healthcare and support for our veterans to the controversial topic of gay marriage. But it also came with a few surprises and announcements.

It was four years ago when Governor Eddie Calvo and Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio ran on the campaign of the Guamanian Dream. "Our administration is focused on bringing back stability we're at that point now stability our administration now is focused on taking Guam to its greatest heights. With its people leading the way," he said.

It's that very stability that was nearly non-existent four years ago when Calvo first came into office. He told Guam Community College students that this administration not only inherited a $360 million deficit but were equipped with only one working ambulance, schools were in bad shape and our hospital was not only overcrowded but out of supplies. "That first month in office I clearly understood the responsibility that I had as a governor," he said.

Calvo said he had to make tough decisions from cancelling hay pay raises to cutting his cabinet's pay by 10% to downsizing by attrition in order meet critical needs. He says today, the economy is stable and its poised for takeoff. From there Governor Calvo addressed an array of issues from students on the Micronesian community, improvements to our roads, hiring locally for the new hospital and upcoming clinics and support to our veterans. He says cuts to veterans services are being felt nation-wide. "When the veterans in the states get a cold our veterans on Guam get pneumonia I must tell you there has been some improvements there has been more doctors coming into the veterans clinic," he said.

Calvo says he's plans to work with veterans affairs secretary Eric Shinseki to help expand the VA clinic along with asking the new naval hospital and the Guam Regional Medical City to dedicate space for veterans. He adds Guam is now hooked up with telemedicine through the Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii.

Governor Calvo meanwhile addressed a question on the issue of gay marriage, saying, "I'm going to be upfront with you, I have an issue with gay marriage."

Calvo says he does however support the rights of same sex couples saying for the first time ever the Government of Guam health insurance plan now accepts same-sex couples as dependents. He says his issue with gay marriage is not only the matter with procreation but what's happening in some states like Colorado and Utah with lawsuits over polygamous marriage. He says if gay marriage were to happen it could open Pandora's Box. "Once you change what the institution of marriage is and if it's only because of consenting adults, this you got to understand where it leads to by the way, I'm not trying to put my morals on anybody, I just want everyone to understand that when society makes that moves, they will, there will more b e more questioning," he said.

He does however say if society as a whole says they want gay marriage like in a referendum, then he would accept it. It wasn't just gay marriage that got the forum heated, it was also the presence of a possible opponent also under the republican ticket. "And we as a people need to stay together. Right Jonathan? Right Jonathan?," he said. Jonathan Diaz responded, "I'm running for Governor, free power and water for the people of Guam."

Diaz had picked up a packet with the Guam Election Commission looking to run for governor under the republican ticket. He was sitting in the front row appeared to be knitting even sometimes heard laughing out loud. "I'm glad I'm funny to Jonathan Diaz, but I think its important, one of these days, you're all grown adults it's important some day, someone like Jonathan Diaz to speak in front of people," he said., Diaz said, "I'm not a child, I'm not a child because everything becomes apparent - you withheld me from speaking tonight, I'm a republican running for governor free power and water to the people of Guam, write my name in because they're not going to put me on the ballot." Calvo said, "But you guys the beauty of democracy, I don't get angry at that, it's people want to take a chance for running for office, some people are very radical."

Calvo meanwhile says he hopes that those who do run honor and respect the office and the responsibility saying being governor is not a gimmick or a ploy. Diaz wasn't the only surprise as Governor Calvo also announced that the next batch of tax refunds would come out on April 17 totaling around $10 million to $15 million however no filing date was given. A second forum is being held tonight for the democratic gubernatorial candidates. Although no democrats have declared, party chairman Rory Respicio would be speaking.

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