History is made: first same-sex couple weds on Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

History is made: first same-sex couple weds on Guam

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It was a day of firsts for Guam following last week's District Court landmark ruling in the marriage equality case, which legalized same-sex marriage on island. "That is like the most breathtaking thing - the fact that they were the ones to be here with us and they were the ones who path the way and started all this so definitely something to just go down in history," proclaimed Deasia Johnson, speaking with total admiration about Loretta Pangelinan and Kathleen Aguero.

The marriage of Johnson and Nikki Dismuke was all made possible by one same-sex couple: Pangelinan and Aguero. Nine weeks ago the lesbian couple decided to fight for their love in the Guam federal court, paving the way for marriage equality on island. And last Friday District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood issued a court order legalizing same-sex marriage, further stating that Public Health's vital statistics registrar begin accepting marriage applications from same-sex couples.

Pangelinan described her feelings today simply as, "Ecstatic. [I'm] happy, really happy that we are able to pave this way for everyone and also I am so thankful for that couple right there that is going to get married today they actually gave up their Number 1 number to us."

All in this morning, five same-sex couples filed for their marriage licenses and for couple Lillian Lee and Susan (who is also known as Sam Diaz), they have been waiting 45 years. Lee said, "We thank these two couple who made it possible. It feels good, we are happy. Back then we were supposed to be married back in Reno but back then I was too young. I'm happy because I am getting married here on my island not somewhere else, but here in Guam."

For all the same-sex couples who eagerly filed their marriage licenses, the message was the same, as they each shared the happiness in being able to finally be one step closer in their dream of marriage to the ones they love. Public Health director James Gillan, who administered the marriage vows for Johnson and Dismuke, said, "You know, our governor has his own opinions, deep religious opinions, but he is a man of the law and he will follow the law of the land regardless of his personal opinions. There are some who probably won't, but I am very happy to have done that."

But when it comes to same-sex marriage it is still a sensitive matter as local leaders determine whether they will officiate such civil unions. In the Guam Legislature, while Senators Michael San Nicolas and Nerrisa Underwood do not officiate weddings, Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. says he remains strong in the teachings of his faith and will not be officiating same-sex civil unions, however Speaker Judi Won Pat, and Senator Brant McCreadie have both stated they are willing to officiate same-sex unions.

As for village mayors, Dededo's Melissa Savares states at this time she will not officiate same-sex civil unions, while Yigo mayor Rudy Matanane and Sinajana mayor Robert Hoffman say it is the law and they will marry same-sex couples.

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