U.S. Circuit Court Judges Juan Torruella, Ojetta Rogerlee Thompson and William Kayatta, Jr., issued their ruling less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court released their decision that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples throughout the country.
Ada Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Vélez of San Juan in March 2014 filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in order to force the U.S. commonwealth to recognize their Massachusetts marriage. Four additional same-sex couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto Rican LGBT advocacy group, joined the case a few months later.
U.S. District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez last October dismissed the case, but the plaintiffs appealed it to the 1st Circuit that includes the island within its jurisdiction. Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration announced earlier this year that it will no longer defend the U.S. commonwealth’s same-sex marriage ban.
Same-sex marriages are expected to begin in Puerto Rico on July 15.