Altogether there are five areas that are independent but still attached to the United States.
First, Puerto Rico, where a couple issued a challenge against the marriage equality ban. This case is currently awaiting trial in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is the only territory where a challenge was launched. For the moment, no gay or lesbian couple embark on this battle in the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or in the Northern Mariana Islands.
In the Virgin Islands, the opposition is currently still very strong despite an equal marriage bill introduced last year in the Senate. It has not been approved.
In Guam, same thing, a bill was introduced in 2009 but the church has done everything that it be dismissed.
Finally, in American Samoa and in the Northern Mariana Islands, this is a little different because in fact no prohibition prevents recognition or same-sex marriage. It seems that no marriage license application is made by same-sex couples. No lawyer has referred the matter either. Feel free to try your luck, you may be causing the start of a victory for our community.
However, as they are attached to US laws, all these territories will also be affected by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which should intervene next June.
«No matter how big or small the population might be in any one of these territories, or the fact there's vehement opposition in them, it doesn't mean any citizens should be left behind,» Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney with the national gay-rights group Lambda Legal, told The Associated Press. «All of them have a fundamental right to marry. They're all entitled to equal protection.»
He hopes indeed that other couples, like the lesbian couple in Puerto Rico, will launch challenges.
Photo from Bensguide.gpo.gov