August 13, 2015 at 12:51 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Same-sex couples to marry in mass Puerto Rico wedding

Puerto Rico, gay news, Washington Blade

Dozens of same-sex couples are expected to take part in a mass wedding in Puerto Rico on Aug. 16, 2015. (Image by Raimond Spekking)

More than 60 same-sex couples are expected to take part in a mass wedding in Puerto Rico on Sunday.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place in Old San Juan. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the city of San Juan and several Puerto Rican businesses have endorsed the event.

“This is a historic event for Puerto Rico and the world,” said Ada Conde Vidal, president of the Human Rights Foundation of Puerto Rico, in a press release that announced the mass wedding. “Officiants from almost all religious denominations, as well as secularists and humanists have been brought together to legally formalize the marriages of the same-sex couples who take part in this mass wedding.”

Conde and her wife, Ivonne Álvarez Vélez, last year filed a federal lawsuit seeking recognition of their Massachusetts marriage in Puerto Rico. Four gay and lesbian couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto Rican LGBT advocacy group, later joined the women’s case.

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration earlier this year announced it would no longer defend Puerto Rico’s same-sex marriage ban.

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 ruled that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry throughout the country. The Puerto Rico Capitol later that day was illuminated in rainbow colors to celebrate the landmark decision in the Obergefell case.

Same-sex couples have been able to apply for marriage licenses in the U.S. commonwealth since July 13.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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