26 Jan 2010

Catholic church in Guam questions the potential costs of civil union bill

9:14 pm on 26 January 2010

Guam's Catholic church has called for more clarity on the potential impact of the controversial civil union bill which the legislature is expected to discuss next month.

The bill would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships with each other, providing those within that partnership many of the rights and benefits given to married couples.

The Church has submitted to lawmakers a petition signed by almost 8,000 people who oppose Bill 185.

However the Nation Chamorros indigenous group has accused the Archdiocese of Agana of pressuring people into opposing the bill.

But Deacon Jeff Barcinas, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, says the church believes allowing civil unions would have negative social consequences.

"We are very serious about making sure the senators weigh up the major, what I call, costs associated with that issue. Because they're not really looking at what really are some of the real fundamental issues that may be affected by passing such legislation."

Jeff Barcinas