Ricky Martin Speaks Out Against Puerto Rico’s Attempt to Remove LGBT People from Hate Crimes Protections

Ricky Martin spoke out yesterday about a move by the Puerto Rican Senate to exclude LGBT people from hate crime laws there, Hispanically Speaking reports:

Martin“I’m very sad about the turn the discussion on Criminal Law is taking in Puerto Rico that proposes the elimination of aggravating factors in cases where crimes are committed out of prejudice toward the victim,” the openly gay star said on his Web site.

Martin said that while great nations focus on providing their citizens with basic rights, some politicians in Puerto Rico are doing just the opposite, “promoting inequality and hate.”

“They ought to do their homework and review a little the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…which says that everyone – the citizens – are equal before the law and have, without distinction, the right to equal protection under the law,” he said.

(blog post)

PuertoricoThe Puerto Rican House is expected to vote on the measure this week after an extraordinary session was convened by Governor Luis Fortuño, EDGE reports:

Representative Héctor Ferrer and Sen. Eduardo Bhatia joined LGBT and Dominican activists at a press conference on Sunday, Dec. 4, to criticize the proposed amendments.

"To eliminate these groups as protected categories is to invite the commission of hate crimes in Puerto Rico," said Ferrer, as Vocero reported on Dec. 4 "It is a setback in the country’s public policy."

"In an advanced society, this is dangerous for society," added Bhatia, as Primera Hora reported.

Political affiliation, age and disability would remain part of the revised hate crimes statute if legislators approve the new penal code and Fortuño signs it into law. Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force accused both Senate President Thomas Rivera-Schatz and Fortuño of homophobia.

Almost two dozen LGBT Puerto Ricans have been murdered there since 2009.


  1. MikeH says

    I find it simply astounding in this day and age there are an increasingly vocal group of people who are advancing this “hate” mentality. However, I don’t think the ones who are advancing this agenda really care one way or another. They are simply using gay folk to distract the masses from their corruption and greed. Nothing works better than to use a scapegoat. Just shamefull!

  2. SpunkyBunks says

    Kick that ass Ricky! He is so cool. Unfortunately, this is why I avoid vacationing in the Caribbean, it’s very anti-gay and I tell everybody to boycott it too. Us gays need to become more vocal about boycotting Caribbean travel in the media. Hit ’em where it hurts, their wallets.

  3. Francis says

    Well, Mikeh, what’s going on is that we’re seeing countries like the US, Australia, UK and several others making progress on marriage equality and rights and acceptance towards our community, and we’re seeing a backlash in these extremely institutionally homophobic countries due to that. The backlash is real and we’re feeling it more and more as we continue to stand up and make our voices heard.

    Glad to see Ricky speaking out. I also agree, that these institutionally homophobic countries need to be boycotted. That’s the only way they’ll get the message that their behavior is unacceptable.

  4. Robert in NYC says

    My first and last trip to Puerto Rico was during the 80s. Even then, I’d never encountered so much homophobia on that island. My partner and I were harassed in our hotel in the Condado section of San Juan, not just on the streets, so we left and cut our trip short never to return and never will.

  5. says

    I think the American “big stick” should be used with Puerto Rico. Slap the country with sanctions, deny any and all funding, cease encouragement of tourism, stop the import and export of all goods. Hit them hard in the pocketbook and with world humiliation. If Puerto Rico is determined to discriminate against gay people or fail to protect them as equal citizens they certainly don’t deserve America’s friendship and/or money.

  6. DB says

    OS2GUY, Puerto Rico is an American territory (called a commonwealth) and has been part of the United States since 1898. All Puerto Ricans are American citizens. I agree with your idea of economic and political sanctions, although it would apply to Utah and Alabama as well as PR.