Guam lesbian couple forced to travel to San Diego to wed - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam lesbian couple forced to travel to San Diego to wed

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Marriage equality on Guam has recently been thrust into the spotlight as Kathleen Aguero and Lorretta Pangelinan became the first to apply for a marriage license and be denied. According to Guam law, they do not fit the definition of a married couple. In the past, same-sex couples who wanted to marry had travel off-island, and a local lesbian couple did just that.

"It took about a month to get to know each other but everything went kind of quickly it was just you know meet her one day fall in love with her the next and then before we knew it we wanted to get married," explained Tia Scroggs. She and her wife Brianna met in the National Guard two years ago and after a year of courtship they decided that marriage was the next step for them. But they knew that getting married on island was not an option, as she recalled, "I don't even think we even thought about it because we already kind of knew the way our island is. We just figured it would have been a really long drawn out battle and we weren't ready to take that on just yet."

So they did what many other same-sex couples have had to do: travel off-island. And for them, they traveled to San Diego, California to say "I do" - an expense they wish could have been spent elsewhere. Looking back on their wedding day, the only regret they shared was that their families could not be there to share the moment. "We did have some family that came out with us Tia's mom and her brother and then we have some family in California," said Brianna, adding, "so they drove out to where we were going to have the ceremony but majority of our family wasn't able to make it."

Not having their families there to share the moment made the couple sad, with Tia saying, "We both kind of have large families, and if it was our way we would have taking that money to go out there and spent it on a nice reception here to share that moment with everybody we love. But it was minimal. The people that came out and watched us get married but we would have wanted everybody too unfortunately that couldn't happen."

They are hopeful that Guam will not only allow for same-sex marriage but that the community will be more accepting, as well. "I mean, it's hard. I mean, even today you see a lot of people they seem accepting but it's still not easy to be gay and married or just gay and be in a relationship people to this day look at us weird if we walk around somewhere and we are holding hands you know I can't even be affectionate the way I would want to be the way a straight couple would because I am scared I am going to insult somebody," said Tia.

Tia and Brianna share that should Guam grant marriage equality they plan to exchange vows once again so that they could be surrounded with family and friends who have supported their relationship.

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