Attorney says defense is stalling with same-sex case - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Attorney says defense is stalling with same-sex case

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Attorney Todd Thompson has filed his client's response to the Calvo Administration's motion to ask the District Court of Guam to place the legal proceedings in the marriage equality lawsuit currently before it on hold. In his 23-page response, Thompson calls the motion filed by Special Assistant Attorney General Mike Phillips a delay tactic.

Phillips was appointed to represent Governor Eddie Calvo and Public Health employee Carolyn Garrido. The two are named as defendants in a case filed by same-sex couple Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero. In early April the couple was denied the opportunity to apply for a marriage license. They subsequently filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Guam challenging Guam's marriage laws and alleging their constitutional rights have been violated.

On Monday, Phillips filed a motion asking the court to put a pause on the case, until the US Supreme Court issues a ruling in another case before it to determine whether the Constitution gives same-sex couples the right to marry. The plaintiff's not only oppose the motion, but instead ask for the case to be expedited.

Additionally, Thompson argues that by seeking a stay, the defendants are asking the court to look the other way at a flagrant violation of Constitutionally-protected civil rights. "Specially, they would have the court halt all proceedings in this case based on mere and misguided speculation about what the US Supreme Court might or might not do in two months time. By requesting a stay of this action, defendants appear all too anxious to run out the clock - to avoid acquiescing to controlling 9th Circuit precedent for as long as possible, based on the slimmest need of hope that such precedent might soon vanish.

The plaintiffs contend that the government should follow the order issued in by the 9th Circuit in Latta v. Otter held that state bans on marriages by persons of the same gender are unconstitutional. The government must file its response on Friday.

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