The legislature heard testimony on bill 164 which would protect people against discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identification and gender expression.
Guam – The measure states all persons on Guam regardless of sex, gender identification or gender expression are “entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever and in all government agencies.”
UOG Professor Dr. Ron McNinch testified on the measure saying he supports rights for the LGBTQ community but is recommending that registered sex offenders or persons arrested or indicted for sex offenses be exempted from these protections.
“There are over 600 registered sex offenders on Guam, they’ve all been convicted almost all of them are felons. 200 [some] odd, are incarcerated. I used to use them as a study group. I see them all over the place because I’ve looked at every one of their pictures all of the time they’re everywhere. I understand I’m just not seeing the connection between that and this bill. Because a registered sex offender if we don’t bar them from claiming that…mainly I’m going to tell you that this is a male problem. It’s not a female problem. I’m worried about men who are sex offenders. The wolf in sheep’s clothing type going into a female’s restroom or female shower room or whatever, claiming that they are another gender and using or exploiting the genuine civil rights purposes of this law. These are people with ill intentions. They are not persons who deserve a civil rights protection because they are expressing their gender identity which I fully support,” said McNinch.
Lasia Casil founder of Isa LGBT Guam testified in support of the measure saying 59 percent of transgender people avoid public restrooms out of fear of confrontation.
“There are many talented loving compassionate people that just want to contribute to the lifting up of our island. They want to be part of Guam and contribute in positive ways, but they’re persecuted on a daily basis. They’re attorneys, they’re chefs they’re teachers, they’re veterans they’re clergy. Government workers, students, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers. You know ‘fanohge’ is not just for straight people it’s for everyone. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen some significant changes on this island for the LGBT community, but we still have a way to go and continually raising awareness and advocating for our rights is a step in the right direction,” said Casil.
Senators also held a public hearing for Senator Wil Castro’s bill that would amend the Good Samaritan law, however; no one showed up to testify on the measure.