Meeting #39
May 1, 2015

Hafa Adai, Pago Bay Guam Rotarians! Thank you for joining us this week! We begin Meeting #39 with Rotary’s Four-Way Test:
As Rotarians, we are reminded of the Object of Rotary
I want to thank RC Tumon Bay Rotarian Frank Crisostomo-Kiaaihue for assisting us this past week with our administration structure. Rotarian Frank has been so helpful in this muchneeded orientation. We have also received some guidance from ADG Mary.
I would like to recognize the efforts of Treasurer Zeny and Secretary John for working with our community partner, MJM Company whose donation of $1,200 will support the purchase and shipment of 50 hardcover American Heritage Children’s Dictionary. Please join us on Wednesday, May 6 at 2pm for the check presentation from Jesse Pizzaro, President of MJM at their Harmon Industrial Park Office.
Director Anita and Treasurer Zeny have moved the Road Adoption Project forward in partnership with Bascon Company. We look forward to planning a dedication ceremony shortly. Thereafter, we will schedule our clean up of the stretch of road along Route 4 from Chalan Inda to Inalago Pago Bay. Stay tuned for this upcoming announcement.
VP/PE Kris continues to plan our engagement with NIH/NIDDK STEP-UP as part of our commitment to sponsor the Mini-Symposium tentatively scheduled for July 27th, highlighting the research that five high school students and one University of Guam undergraduate student will undertake. This symposium allows these students to shine, showing their parents and their peers what they have learned.  The undergraduate student and two high school students will then participate in a Symposium held at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD.  Lead Project Directors: VP/PE Kristina, Vocational and New Generations Committee Director Karen, and Rotarian Edward.
If you have not already done so, please submit a short narrative about yourself and why you joined Rotary (100-200 words) with a picture to share.  Please send your submissions to Secretary John at
We are continually identifying speakers or presenters on timely topics who are willing to contribute a written narrative or short video clip. The narrative should be 300-750 words and align with our topics of addressing the impoverished, reducing family violence, increasing education, entrepreneurship opportunities in our villages and how we might assist the homeless youth and children.  Please send your recommendations to VP/PE Kris at
There is no designated theme for the month of May. See what President Huang has to say this month at this link: His message focuses on the House of Friendship as part of the 106 Rotary International Convention, June 6-9. He reflects on the excitement and the diverse blend of cultures of São Paulo, the host city.
Rotary Minute: “What have you learned from being a Rotarian?” Click on this link to listen to the testimonies of Rotarians and learn how their focus and service spanned beyond their community to an international level. Link:
Program of Service:
Today we feature Dr. Ron McNinch, Distinguished Professor and Associate Professor of Public Administration at the University of Guam, School of Business and Public Administration. Dr. McNinch shares his position on Gay Marriage. Please see message below. Start or join the discussion on our Facebook page: Rotary E-Club of Pago Bay Guam.
Calling New Members – we will hold a New Member induction during our 1st Charter Day Anniversary, June 12, 2015.
I wish you a great week and thank you for taking the time to participate in this week’s meeting. To participate, visit our Facebook page and in the comment box, tell us how you wish to impact our community as a Rotarian.
Adjournment.  Meeting #39 is now adjourned. Thank you for your time. 
Yours in Rotary,
President Annette Taijeron Santos
RY 2014-2015; 2015-2016
Presenter: Dr. McNinch
Topic: Same sex marriage on Guam
Gay marriage is here is to stay and there really isn’t a lot that can be done on a political level to stop this policy. Since it is legal policy already in many US jurisdictions, the full faith and credit clause of the US Constitution requires other states and jurisdictions to recognize these marriages. Even if Guam wanted to develop a strategy against it, married gay couples from other US jurisdictions are entitled to the same rights as other married couples. As Chris Rock famously quipped regarding gay marriage, “Gay people should have the right to be just as miserable as everyone else.”

In a poll my students did last week, about 180 voters, 55% support gay marriage and about 29% opposed it. By the way, this opposition number fits squarely with the number of people opposed to legalized gaming. The main difference is that in the casino efforts most voters were undecided and only between 30-35% supported it. The silly lawsuit-happy approach used by the gaming proponents actually moved the undecideds to vote no. On gay marriage, support levels have steadily risen over the last four to six years and the support is strong.

In the area of gay marriage, there are a number of important steps that happened politically and socially in the United States over the last fifty years that led to this policy. In 1967, the US Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia uniformly legalized interracial marriage in the US. Before the Loving decision, about a third of US states did not allow persons of different races to be married. On Guam, our interracial marriage rate is nearly 50%, one of the highest in the nation. During the 1960s and 1970s the gay rights movement sought legal means to gain more equal rights, but failed miserably in the courts.

If anyone is looking for someone to blame for gay marriage becoming Guam policy, librarians and psychiatrists, not the AG are the likely culprits.  Around 1972, the American Library Association asked the Library of Congress to reclassify HQ 71-41 “Abnormal Sexual Relations, including Sexual Crimes” to HQ 76.5 “Homosexuality, Lesbianism—Gay Liberation Movement, Homophile Movement.” In May 1974, the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) was changed and homosexuality was removed as a disorder. In previous editions, homosexuality was considered a “sociopathic mental disturbance.”   These two critical changes helped to transform the way gay people are viewed in the United States today. If there is a heated discussion on this issue today, imagine how radical these librarians and psychiatrists were considered forty years ago.
Part of this riddle is separating the policy or politics from religious concerns.. Part of the gay marriage concern is that it treads on religious rituals or beliefs. In reality, marriage is more of a contract issue that creates a dyadic set of rights and responsibilities between two people and religion is a separate concern. Otherwise, we would never allow atheists to get married.

On a final note, we often take for granted the Guam Organic Act and how progressive it was in 1950 from a civil rights perspective. Governor Skinner, the primary author of this document, put basic civil rights into the Guam Organic Act that were not national policy until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One Guam Organic Act right that has not been fully made uniform in the United States is the right to language. That being said, if I made anyone mad today, you can blame academic freedom and the university. This is why we have a university.