Where does San Nicolas stand on legislation banning LGBTQ discri - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Where does San Nicolas stand on legislation banning LGBTQ discrimination?

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A congressional effort to prohibit LGBTQ discrimination is slated to be introduced on Wednesday. The Equality Act's passage looks to be likely in a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives - but the question some member's of Guam's LGBTQ community are asking - is Guam delegate Michael San Nicolas on board?

A WhatsApp message circulating this morning in the local LGBTQ community, asking why Guam congressional delegate Mike San Nicolas hasn't cosponsored the 2019 Equality Act. The Act, a measure that would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system.

Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio, the first openly-gay lieutenant governor in the nation, says he remains optimistic.

"We are very hopeful the delegate will be a co-sponsor. I understand that the member pushing it has gotten almost everybody in that caucus and a bunch of republicans so the legislation is very important for our people but also for the service members that are stationed here," Tenorio said.

Sources close to this issue telling KUAM News Equality Act main sponsor Democrat David Cicilline had made repeated efforts to reach out to San Nicolas' office to seek a co-sponsorship of the Act. According to these sources, Guam was the lone territory not co-sponsoring this bill, and San Nicolas was one of only 3 democrats not cosponsoring the Act.

LGBTQ advocate Lasia Casil telling KUAM news the LGBTQ community was mobilizing to get answers from the Delegate, which was made slightly more difficult by the fact san Nicolas has yet to open a Guam district office. Casil tells KUAM news efforts to reach out to San Nicolas have been unsuccessful.

"I was a bit surprised, but he seems to not be responding to a lot of people on Guam right now. I don't know if that's part of his MO or what's happening, but I'm going to resend a message to him today that this is important," she said.

While local LGBTQ community members had braced for a public relations blitz today, transgender activist Scarlett Dixon tells KUAM News word is trickling down that San Nicolas may have caved under pressure.

While KUAM News hasn't received any official word from the Delegate's office - in fact, the Delegate's office hasn't responded to our last six emails - Casil says even if San Nicolas was dragging his feet on supporting the Equality Act, if he signs on to support it, it'll be a case of 'all's well that ends well'

"I would be very happy - no questions asked," Casil continued. "However, if this were to move forward without his name on it, that's a totally different thing."

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Tenorio says he'll push to get a clear answer from San Nicolas, and he'll be meeting with issue stakeholders when he's in town in a couple of weeks.

"I will be sending a letter to him asking him to cosponsor and when I make my trip to the national Lt. Governor's Association at the end of the month, I will be meeting with a lot of the organizations that advocate in this area and I'll be pushing that on the hill," he promised.

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