Puerto Rico Governor Signs Major LGBT Rights Bills into Law

LGBT rights in Puerto Rico took two big steps forward today thanks to the island territory's governor, the Washington Blade reports:

Padilla

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla on Wednesday signed two bills into law that ban anti-LGBT discrimination on the island and add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the U.S. commonwealth’s domestic violence laws.

“The dignity of being a human being is inviolable because we are all the same and we must be equal under the law,” the governor said in a tweet before he signed the measures at his official residence in San Juan. “Today is a great day for Puerto Rico. I feel that I have fulfilled my duty as a Christian to sign these laws.”

This Monday, the Puerto Rico Senate voted to approve a modified version of the non-discrimination bill that passed the Puerto Rico House last Friday.  The domestic violence law change was also approved on Monday.

According to the AP, the original version of the measure, which was advanced by the Senate earlier this month, went further than the newly minted law:

The original measure would have also banned discrimination in commercial transactions, property rentals, public transportation and other circumstances. Those clauses were removed after heavy opposition by religious groups.

Comments

  1. Malo says

    A terrible day for the LGBT community in Puerto Rico. I don’t understand why Puerto Rican gays and lesbians are celebrating since after today anyone can openly discriminate against all of us. Yes, they can’t fire you from your job but in everything else discrimination is now allowed and even promoted. For example, you can work in a restaurant but as a patron they can ask you leave just for being gay. A total and epic disaster. Something we didn’t have before. All thanks to Senator Nieves and Pedro Julio Serrano, an “activist” working for The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and supported by the ACLU of Puerto Rico. Serrano’s failed activism in the island is well known by the Latino/Puerto Rican-LGBT community in NY. Bill #238 was not only picked apart and stripped off spectacularly but also turned against us. It started in the Senate, continued in the House of Representatives with the help of religious fundamentalist, and ended with 2 days of embarrassing and humiliating media coverage. Not even his friend in El Nuevo Dia newspaper could ignore the horrific result. Only one Senator, a co-sponsor of the bill, spoke against the heavy handedness and oppressive changes in what is basically a discriminatory law to all effects. Why now so close to a Supreme Court decision? Allegedly a calculated gamble to preempt the Supreme Court in order to help his political aspirations in the island.

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