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Last updateSun, 20 Oct 2019 8pm







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-7:05:50A.M.






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Guam archbishop: Don’t redefine marriage

HAGÅTÑA — The Agana Archdiocese has issued a statement arguing against redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.

Church leaders asked politicians to “end this assault on the very foundation of our traditional, cultural and religious patrimony.”

According to the statement, same-sex marriages are “unconstitutional,” “morally unacceptable” and a “threat to the very definition of marriage.”

Because governments did not invent marriage, governments cannot redefine marriage, the statement said, adding that the issue is not one of equality but of distinction, church officials said.

“Any type of government, whether it is democratic, or monarchial, has always ‘discriminated’ — i.e., made distinctions — in their marriage laws. And in that sense, there is no ‘equality’ issue in marriage law,” Guam church authorities said in its statement.

Marriage laws with their distinctions “have served the common good to protect the marriage as a union of one man and one woman.”

The local archdiocese officials also wrote that the church’s teachings indicate marriage is union between two people of the opposite sex and is a “natural institution” that is not open to redefinition or reinterpretation.

“The concept and idea that same sex unions can be defined as a ‘marriage’ has no basis in reality,” the statement said. “Marriage is an institution of comprehensive self-giving between one man and one woman who share bodily complementarity. This life giving union which forms a family is the very foundation of our civilization whose very source and center is God.”

According to an article from the Associated Press, republished by the local Catholic newspaper, Umatuna Si Yu’os, Archbishop Anthony Apuron said that same-sex marriage is against the Catholic faith.

Apuron said and such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race.

Furthermore, the archbishop also said homosexual tendencies are a moral evil, according to the article.

The church’s view of same-sex marriage is in contrast to the views of several local politicians.

Speaker Judith Won Pat and Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz have publicly pledged support of same-sex marriage, while Sen. Tina Muna-Barnes has said she “accepts” it. Freshman Sen. Nerissa Underwood said on Monday that she believes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be afforded the opportunity to marry under the law. She encouraged residents to write to the governor in support of same-sex marriage.

Sen. Michael San Nicolas said in a statement that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional and urged Gov. Eddie Calvo to move on to other matters.

On April 8, when Kathleen Aguero and Loretta Pangelinan tried to apply for a marriage license and were turned away without submitting their application, Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson initially supported the Department of Public Health and Social Service’s decision to reject Aguero and Pangelinan’s application. However, on Tuesday last week, the AG said the ban on same-sex marriage was unenforceable, citing the Ninth Circuit Court case Latta v. Otter.

Since then, the lesbian couple has filed a complaint in federal court naming Gov. Eddie Calvo and DPHSS registrar Carolyn Garrido in the case, filed on April 13.

After Barrett-Anderson issued a memo that said banning gay marriage was against the Ninth Circuit ruling, Calvo said he and his legal team would need time to further research the Ninth Circuit Court’s Latta decision among other Ninth Circuit decisions. Calvo said he needed time to make a well-informed decision.

Aguero and Pangelinan have said before that their desire to get married is not an issue that has to do with the church.

“We’re standing up for our right,” Aguero said on April 8, after the couple’s marriage license application was rejected.

The couple said while they are churchgoers, they are also poised to withstand pushback from the Catholic Church. “It has nothing to do with the church or anything. It’s our right to marry the person we love, which is each other,” Aguero said.