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McNinch: "Gay marriage is here to stay"

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University of Guam professor Ron McNinch who recently conducted a survey on the much discussed issue of same-sex unions here on Guam. In fact, more than half of those surveyed agree with him.

"Chris Rock on gay marriage said gay people should have the right to be just as miserable as everyone else, and there's some truth to that," McNinch stated. McNinch broke the ice on a serious topic that continues to be discussed in our island community. The longtime political analyst who's conducted studies on other controversial topics on island says for gay marriage on Guam, it's here to stay. More than half of those surveyed in a recent poll appear to agree.

"We did a poll over the weekend," he detailed. "55 percent of the public support it, about 29 percent are against it, and that's a pretty normal number of gambling or things like sexual relations or things like that." 182 people were surveyed over the weekend between men and women half under and over 40.

"I think the bottom line that everyone in our community of our size has a relative, brother, sister, aunt or uncle who is gay we love them anyways, and I think for the most part, most people believe God loves them also," he summarized.

And while this issue has sparked a religious debate, McNinch says is shouldn't be one. He said, "When we talk about this issue nationally and when we talk about allowing gay people to be married, we're talking about a matter of public policy. And as a matter of public policy then, under our general laws and general concepts, it should be acceptable."

Despite criticism from national groups, Governor Eddie Calvo continues to defend that additional legal research is needed so that he can make an informed and responsible decision on same-sex marriages locally. Adelup says the governor is obligated to faithfully execute the laws of Guam. which he says defines marriage as between members of the opposite sex.

"I think that in general there's no turning back, this will be national policy in the next two years or sooner, and I think in general anyone who does oppose it, it doesn't matter within that timeframe anyways. There might be some symbolic people who will oppose it even today, and I have to say back in the Civil Rights Era there were politicians and leaders who opposed other civil rights opinion issues and then they changed their mind later on. So we always have to allow our leaders to change their mind and I hope the public remembers that," he said.

For example, McNinch cites how a third of the states before 1967 did not allow interracial marriage. He says the landmark civil rights decision of the US Supreme Court in 1967 of Loving v. Virginia changed all that. "So I think 20 or 30 years from now, people will wonder what's all the fuss today," said McNinch.

As for the results, McNinch says 55 percent in support of gay marriage is actually a five percent increase over a poll conducted nearly four years ago. He believes this is a result of people understanding gay marriage more and thinking of it as less of a religious issue and more of a contract issue between two adults. 
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