By Johnnie Rosario
Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes has been assisting a group of Russian citizens seeking asylum in the United States. Some of the citizens have been persecuted by the Russian government over suspicions they are gay.
"We cannot go back," one of the citizens said on condition of anonymity.
The group stepped up their efforts to get the federal government to hear their case, organizing a peaceful protest on the Adelup front lawn. The director of the Department of Parks and Recreation granted a daytime permit for the protest, but denied a camping permit for the group to stay over night on the lawn.
That's when Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio, Guam's first openly-gay lieutenant governor, stepped in, working with the vice speaker's office and DPR to get the permit approved.
There currently are no laws prohibiting discrimination against gays in Russia, and most Russians disapprove of homosexuality.