Gays and lesbians who receive a marriage license have 10 days to use it, according to Puerto Rican law. The first same-sex marriages on the island are expected to take place on Wednesday.
“A more fair, more humane country dawns today,” said Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, an LGBT advocacy group on the island, in a press release, according to the newspaper Primera Hora. “The reality is that LGBTT couples have never needed a license to validate our love. But it is fair and we deserve all rights.”
The U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry throughout the country.
A three-judge panel with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week ruled Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration earlier this year announced it would no longer defend the law that five same-sex couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s challenged.
Puerto Rico will join the Caribbean islands of St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Martinique and Guadeloupe in which same-sex couples can legally marry.
U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp on July 10 signed an executive order that requires officials in the territory to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Obergefell case.