Puerto Rico, Caribbean

Same-sex relations between consenting adults were officially legalized with the approval of the new Penal Code in 2005. LGBT rights in Puerto Rico have slowly begun to develop within recent years. Public discussion and debate about sexual orientation and gender identity issues have increased, and some legal changes have been made.

However, public opposition still exists due, in large part, to the strong influence of the Catholic Church and socially conservative Protestants. In 1991 the first LGBT pride parade was organized in Puerto Rico, and subsequent events occur each year in San Juan and Cabo Rojo. Between the 1990s and 2008, various LGBT community groups arose, as there has been more public discussion about sexual orientation, gender identity, human rights and the AIDS-HIV pandemic. Today, there are numerous Puerto Rican LGBT rights organizations and nightclubs. 



Thugs throw Molotov cocktails into Puerto Rico gay bar

A gay bar in Puerto Rico has been hit in a shocking arson attack. Emergency services were called to Circo Bar, a popular gay nightclub in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after the attack on Sunday. According to reports from local newspaper El Vocero, several Molotov cocktails were thrown into the club at around 7:30 PM… Read more »

Puerto Rico Governor promises equal marriage is here to stay despite court ruling to re-ban it

The Governor of Puerto Rico has spoken out in favour of equal marriage – after a judge attempted to re-ban same-sex weddings by throwing out parts of the US Constitution. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is not fully recognised as a US state. After the US Supreme Court ruled… Read more »

Puerto Rico adopts same-sex marriage too!

The overseas United States territory of Puerto Rico will join the US in allowing same-sex marriage. After the Supreme Court decision that brought same-sex marriage to all 50 states, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has said the territory will follow suit. He acknowledged that was opposition to the move in the largely Catholic island,… Read more »

Puerto Rico ends its defense of gay marriage ban

San Juan (Reuters) – The Puerto Rican government will no longer defend a law that bans same-sex couples from marrying and does not recognize the validity of such marriages performed in other jurisdictions, the U.S. commonwealth’s attorney general announced on Friday. The announcement coincided with the filing of a government brief before the 1st Circuit… Read more »

Federal Judge Upholds Puerto Rico’s Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge on Tuesday upheld Puerto Rico’s ban on gay marriage, saying that allowing such unions could lead to plural and incestuous marriages. U.S. District Judge Juan M. Perez-Gimenez is the second federal judge since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year to uphold… Read more »

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla signs LGBT rights bills into law

‘We are all the same and we must be equal under the law’ The governor of Puerto Rico signed bills into law on Wednesday (29 May) that protect LGBT people against discrimination and adds to the country’s domestic violence law protections for sexual orientation, marital status and gender identity. Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed the… Read more »

Puerto Rico approves anti-discrimination bill in push for more gay rights

San Juan, Puerto Rico — Legislators in Puerto Rico on Friday approved a heavily debated bill that outlaws employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Opponents of the bill prayed on the steps of the seaside Capitol building as lawmakers voted on a simplified version of the measure, which was widely rejected by religious… Read more »

Anti-gay marriage protest takes place in Puerto Rico

Hundreds of people have marched through the capital of Puerto Rico to demand that the governor approve a constitutional amendment banning equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The protesters walked from the US territory’s seaside capitol building to the governor’s mansion in historic Old San Juan on Saturday. AP reports it is the second such… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Gay Rights Battle Gets Momentum

Carmen Milagros Velez Vega and her partner have a 12-year-old daughter that Velez gave birth to—a child she considers “…our daughter. She is not my daughter.” Yet, despite Velez’s 25-year-long relationship, Puerto Rican courts refuse to allow her partner to legally adopt their child. Her partner is a woman. Velez is a professor at the… Read more »

Puerto Rico to have new hate crime laws to protect gays

Outgoing Secretary of Justice promises new rules and new Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla pledges to tackle anti-gay violence Puerto Rico’s LGBT community may be a step closer to being protected from killings, assaults and other hate crimes. The departing Secretary of Justice, Guillermo Somoza has said new rules would be put in place for hate… Read more »

Orlando Cruz becomes boxing’s first openly gay man

Featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz, from Puerto Rico, has become the first openly gay man in the sport’s history, describing himself Wednesday as a “proud gay man.” Cruz (18-2-1, 9 KOs), the No. 4-ranked featherweight by the WBO, said, “I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want… Read more »

Puerto Rico Hate Crime Law Would Exclude LGBTs Despite High Number Of Gay Murders

Two years ago, on a desolate street in central Puerto Rico, a gay 19-year-old named Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado was savagely killed: decapitated, dismembered, and burned. As of last month, his murder had still not been investigated as a hate crime — a fact LGBT activists say reflects the failure of Puerto Rico’s justice system… Read more »

Gay Puerto Rico News & Reports

Also see: Caribbean Anti Violence Project 1 Puerto Rico’s Sodomy Law Just "Tip of the Iceberg" 3/03 2 Puerto Rico’s Law 103: A Colonial Imposition 3/03 3 Gay-rights issues bring protesters to streets 4/03 4 Government appeals Supreme court ruling 4/03 5 Local Supreme Court insists on excluding gays from Law 54 5/03 6 Gays… Read more »