American Samoa is the only U.S. territory to refuse to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage through U.S. law.
The Associated Press reports that the attorney general of American Samoa is in the process of reviewing the court order, and gay rights advocates are putting pressure on the island to comply with the legal ruling.
“We’re still reviewing the decision to determine its applicability to American Samoa, and I have no specific comments at this time,” American Samoa Attorney General Eleasalo Ale told the AP.
When asked by the AP if gay marriage is already legal in American Samoa, Ale responded, “I don’t know. We’re reviewing the law.” No one has applied for a same-sex marriage license in the American territory, according to information provided by American Samoa’s Office of Vital Statistics.
Questions remain over whether the new Supreme Court ruling clashes with the territories’ rights to have some independent authority. However, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands signed executive orders to echo the ruling. Guam, which previously held a same-sex marriage ban, had the order removed by a federal judge last month.
American Samoans are known for their deep commitment to Christianity, holding “conservative social views,” the AP reports. The island’s official motto is “Samoa, Let God Be First.” The 57,000-strong citizen territory almost unanimously follows the Christian faith.
American Samoans are also noted for their dedicated patriotism. American Samoa’s local Army Recruiting Station is ranked #1 of the 885 Army recruiting stations in the United States and its territories.