July 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
1st Circuit rules Puerto Rico marriage ban unconstitutional

Puerto Rico, gay news, Washington Blade

A three-judge panel with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 8, 2015, ruled Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. (Graphic by Raimond Spekking)

A three-judge panel with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

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.

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

  • Mark Cross

    Puerto Rico, ¡te saludo, te felicito, y te amo!

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