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Guam officials at odds over gay marriage

The tiny U.S. Pacific territory of Guam moved a step closer to recognizing gay marriage on Wednesday as its attorney general directed the island's public health officials to begin accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples.

But the acting director of Guam's Department of Public Health and Social Services, Leo Casil, balked at the order, telling Reuters his agency would not be accepting marriage applications from gay and lesbian couples at this time.

Further muddying the waters, Governor Eddie Calvo issued a statement saying his legal team was reviewing the attorney general's position and suggesting that the issue could be decided by the territory's legislature or its voters.

If Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson prevails in her position, Guam would become the first U.S. Pacific or Caribbean territory to extent marriage rights to same sex couples. A legal challenge to a gay marriage ban in Puerto Rico is also pending.

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