50 Plus 1, Marriage Equality Fight Comes to Puerto Rico

In June of 2014, all 50 states in the union had cases to challenge the remaining bans on gay marriage bans; North Dakota completed that list. Now, we’ve got one more. The United States territory of Puerto Rico joins the list as well.

From Lambda Legal:

…in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to end the discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Lambda Legal joined the lawsuit, Conde v. García Padilla, in June on behalf of five gay and lesbian couples and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, an organization that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, said:

All families deserve to have their love and commitment recognized in Puerto Rico; they need the protections only marriage can provide as soon as possible, without discrimination. Every day that passes, our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family members are told they are inferior to our other family members. They are living, working and caring for each other now and need the dignity and respect of marriage.

On March 25, 2014, Ada Mercedes Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Vélez filed a lawsuit to compel Puerto Rico to recognize their marriage, which they entered into in Massachusetts. Lambda Legal joined the lawsuit on June 25, filing an amended complaint to include four more plaintiff couples, two seeking recognition of marriages entered into in other jurisdictions and two who seek to marry in Puerto Rico, as well as an organizational plaintiff, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s. Today’s filing also includes an opposition to a motion to dismiss, filed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Secretary of the Health Department, the Director of the Treasury and the Registrar of Vital Records on August 27, 2014.

Puerto Rico has a 1999 statute banning same-sex couples from getting married.

Read the full article

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