Omar Gonzalez-Pagan of Lambda Legal and Ada Conde Vidal filed the brief in U.S. District Court in San Juan in response to the motion that Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration submitted earlier this month.
“Plaintiffs suffer irreparable injury as a direct result of defendants’ enforcement of Puerto Rico’s marriage ban,” wrote Gonzalez-Pagan. “Delay in the adjudication of the claims in this case has very real and ongoing consequences for plaintiffs and their families.”
Conde and her partner, Ivonne Álvarez Velez of San Juan in March filed the lawsuit seeking recognition of their Massachusetts marriage. Four other same-sex couples; Lambda Legal and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto Rican LGBT advocacy group, joined the case in June.
García’s administration in August filed a motion with the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 declined to hear same-sex marriage cases from Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Gonzalez-Pagan wrote in his brief that gays and lesbians as of Wednesday were able to legally marry in 30 states and D.C.
A federal judge on Friday ruled Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
Gonzalez-Pagan noted “a remarkable and nearly unbroken seismic wave of federal court rulings across the country” have struck down “state statutory and constitutional marriage bans similar to Puerto Rico’s ban.”
“This case, these plaintiffs and Puerto Rico’s marriage ban should be treated no differently,” said Gonzalez-Pagan.
Puerto Rican lawmakers in 1999 amended the U.S. commonwealth’s civil code to ban recognition of same-sex marriages, including those legally performed in other jurisdictions.
García supports civil unions for gays and lesbians. He has signed bills into law that ban anti-LGBT discrimination on the island and added sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the U.S. commonwealth’s domestic violence laws since taking office in January 2013.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz publicly supports marriage rights for same-sex couples.