Puerto Rico Will Allow Gay Marriage

A panel of judges in Puerto Rico has ruled that the country’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. This means that same-sex weddings could begin taking place on the island from July 15th.

Puerto Rico is a US territory, (part of a US Commonwealth) but it does have local autonomy and, in many ways, a social identity distinct from the US. 

Recently, however, there have been some calls for the island to join the US as the 51st state and, as Puerto Ricans are recognised as US citizens, it’s easy to see where the judges have taken their cue. 

Whatever the personal and political beliefs of the island’s leadership (the President opposes it) last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court to legalise gay marriage in the US will have had some impact on the island’s outlook toward same-sex marriage.  

In 2014, a lesbian couple challenged Puerto Rico’s gay wedding ban by asking the US District Court to force the Commonwealth into recognising their marriage -- which had taken place in Massachusetts – as legal. The bid was unsuccessful at the time, but now, scarcely one year later, the couple (and other gay couples) will have the recognition that they have been fighting for.

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