Alejandro García Padilla Hub

Puerto Rican Government May Soon Stop Defending Its Same-Sex Marriage Ban

A new report out of Puerto Rico suggests that the U.S. commonwealth may soon ends its defense of a statute that bans same-sex couples from getting married. Via The Washington Blade:

6a00d8341c730253ef0192aa799605970d-200wiEl Nuevo Día reported Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration is “contemplating” a “change of posture” and will “withdraw its support of the Puerto Rican statute that only recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”

The governor — who is named as a defendant in a lawsuit against the U.S. commonwealth’s gay nuptials ban that two women from San Juan filed last March — has until Friday to submit a formal response to the case with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston which is considering the lawsuit.

“I prefer not to comment on any final decision,” Puerto Rico Justice Minister César Miranda told El Nuevo Día during an interview in D.C. where he was attending a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 

In a follow up question, Miranda "appeared to suggest" that Puerto Rico would change its policy on same-sex marriage. However, a spokesperson for Puerto Rico's Department of Justice, Amber Lee Vélez, was illusive when responding to The Washington Blade's request for a comment on Miranda's remarks:

On same-sex marriages, Secretary César Miranda has said that there is litigation in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in which (the Puerto Rico Justice Department) has until this Friday, March 20, to file a response on the part of the state,” said Lee. “It will be the appropriate moment to publicly share the state’s position to the point raised once this task has been completed.” 

Previously, Governor Padilla signed an LGBT rights bill into law in May of 2013.

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:

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.


Towleroad - Blogged