Federal Judge’s Marriage Equality Ruling in Puerto Rico “Bizarre”
Washington DC, March 9, 2016 — The National LGBTQ Task Force is describing an anti-marriage equality ruling by a Puerto Rican-based U.S. federal judge as “bizarre and controversial.” United States District Judge Juan Pérez Gímenez today ruled that, as Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and not a state, that the historic Obergefell v. Hodges marriage equality decision by the U.S. Supreme Court does not apply to the Commonwealth.
“Judge Pérez Gímenez’s bizarre and controversial ruling runs at variance with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which has been issuing marriage licenses since the historic Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling, alongside the other states and territories of the nation. It also flies in the face of the United States Constitution and the fact that Supreme Court rulings apply to the whole of the United States and territories. We look forward to Judge Pérez Gímenez’s ruling being almost certainly overturned by the U.S. First Circuit in Boston. Of course, this judicial attempt at defying the Supreme Court could have been avoided if the Commonwealth Legislature itself had acted on the multiple bills that had been brought before it that would amend Article 68 of the Civil Code — the same-sex marriage ban — to make it compatible with Obergefell by defining marriage in a gender neutral fashion,” said Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Director.
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