July 15, 2015 at 2:38 pm EST | by Staff reports
American Samoa reviewing marriage ruling
American Samoa, gay news, Washington Blade

Pago Pago Harbor in American Samoa. (Photo public domain)

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — The government of American Samoa has begun to review last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples throughout the country.

The Samoa News earlier this month reported that Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale said the government of the U.S. territory is “reviewing the opinion and its potential applicability to American Samoa.”

The governors of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have said their respective administrations will comply with the June 26 ruling in the Obergefell case. Gays and lesbians began to marry in Guam last month after a federal judge struck down the island’s same-sex marriage ban.

4 Comments
  • If they refuse, cut aid. It is that simple. If they don’t want to adhere to our rules, then throw them out. We certainly have no use for Samoa anyways.

    • Phil: I don’t think that it is that simple. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples in the 50 states and the District of Columbia have the constitutional right to marry. However, people who live in the five U.S. territories do not necessarily have the same constitutional rights as do people who live on the mainland, Alaska, or Hawaii.

      The total population of American Samoa is only about 60,000 persons. So there are probably fewer than 2,000 adult lesbians, gays or bisexuals in the territory. This compares to about 15 million who live in the rest of the U.S.

      • I think you are over thinking it, it is that easy, we make Federal laws, you are a territory of US, you either follow them or you don’t be part of the USA. All territory under the control of the federal government is considered part of the “United States” for purposes of law. SCOTUS says the Constitution extended ex proprio vigore to the territories or “it’s full force and vigor”. So I am pretty sure the Interior Dept, who basically rules Samoa and dictates the laws on island will enforce US laws. It will probably just take a legal case before the Courts to do this, but under the legal code, it is already legal to marry there.

        • If the U.S. Courts have denied us a fundamental right to U.S. citizenship by birth in the Territory of American Samoa.Why should American Samoans accept same sex marriages as a fundamental right to be be imposed on this Territory? Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin islands are born citizens, but not our territory! The U.S. Constitution doesn’t fully apply in this unincorporated and unorganized Territory. We don’t have to accept same sex marriages if we do not want it. We wont accept it until we are full incorporated into the U.S (when we have no choice). ….whenever or if it ever happens.

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