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Could the church's attitude change towards gay marriage?

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - With election year in full force, it's been a hot debate topic.

But it's not just political hopefuls talking about same sex marriage.

Hundreds of Catholic clergy are currently meeting in Vatican City and it appears religious leaders could be more merciful toward gay marriages.

More than half of the states in the US allow marriage for same sex couples, but could Guam soon be following suit?

As Catholic clergy gather in Vatican City to discuss issues involving the family, there appears to be a shift in attitude about the church and gay marriages.

Specifically, a Vatican document states homosexuals "need to be welcomed and accompanied with patience and delicacy" and that homosexuals "have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community."

The report is a glimmer of hope for locals like Attorney William Pesch.

"Its encouraging. It certainly demonstrates that this pope is interested in setting a new tone to parishioners throughout the world. Whether this remains to be a substantive change or not remains to be seen," he said. "I hope that change and tone moves across the ocean and makes its way here."

Pesch, who has two young sons, recently married his partner in a ceremony in the mainland.

"I really hope that other gay individuals on the island have that opportunity to get married here because they want their friends and relatives to come and they want it to be a celebration as it should be," he said.

Although Pesch believes same sex marriages on Guam is inevitable, he says it'll happen through the courts, not the legislature.

It was back in 2009 Vice Speaker BJ Cruz introduced Bill 185 better known as the Domestic Partnership Bill. The legislation, however, never made it on to session floor.

Prior to this week's meeting in the Vatican, Pope Francis was quoted last year saying he would not judge gay people genuinely seeking God.

His statement is a 180 from his predecessor Pope Benedict who once referred to gay people as "intrinsically disordered."

Pesch said, "Somebody's sexual preference really has nothing to do with judging that person's quality. We all have different characteristics and qualities that make us a good human being and your sexuality has nothing to do with that. I hope someday we will not be judge on our sexual preference we will be judged on our character and what we do with our lives."

Keeping with family matters, Catholic clergy are also discussing how the church handles unmarried couples living together and divorced Catholics.

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