HAGATNA, Guam, June 5 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Guam on Friday struck down a local law that defined marriage as union between a man and woman, giving way to Guam becoming the first U.S. territory to allow same-sex marriage.
Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood determined the local law denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. Citing a previous decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Guam, the judge determined gay couples can begin applying for marriage licenses at 8 a.m. Tuesday, when the court decision goes into effect.
The case was filed by Loretta M. Pangelinan and Kathleen M. Aguero, a couple for nine years who have three foster children.
The decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to render a decision this month on whether gay marriage is a constitutional right. In addition to Guam, gay marriage is legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia.