November 18, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay Puerto Rican boxer marries boyfriend

Orlando Cruz, Jose Manuel, Puerto Rico, New York City, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz (second from left) married José Manuel Colón , in New York’s Central Park on Nov. 16, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Pedro Julio Serrano)

Gay Puerto Rican boxer Orlando “El Fenómeno” Cruz on Nov. 16 married his boyfriend, José Manuel Colón, in New York’s Central Park.

New York City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is among the frontrunners to succeed outgoing New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the position, officiated the ceremony. Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Shirley Casiano were witnesses.

“Giving thanks to my heavenly father for one more day of life and with [my] husband José Manuel in it,” Cruz wrote in Spanish on his Facebook page on Sunday.

Cruz in Oct. 2012 became the first active professional boxer to come out as gay.

He wore trunks with a Puerto Rican flag in rainbow colors during his match against Mexican boxer Orlando Salido in Las Vegas last month for the WBO featherweight championship. Salido knocked Cruz out in the seventh round.

The National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in August included Cruz among its first class of inductees.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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