Federal Judge Rules Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Doesn't Apply to Puerto Rico
A federal judge ruled this week that the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry doesn’t apply to residents of Puerto Rico.
U.S. District Court Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez published the decision Tuesday, arguing that Puerto Rico’s ban on gay marriage is constitutional because Puerto Rico—an unincorporated territory—was not affirmatively identified in the Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges.
It’s worth noting the same judge upheld the ban on gay marriage back in 2014, before the Obergefell case was decided. The plaintiffs successfully appealed his ruling to the 1st Circuit, which recently sent the case back to Pérez-Giménez with the strong suggestion that he reverse his ruling in light of the Obergefell decision. Pérez-Giménez, obviously, declined.
Even so, his questionable ruling won’t have much of an impact: Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla reportedly said today he will continue to follow the Supreme Court decision.