August 16, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Puerto Rico gay marriages safe, Appeals Court rules

bandera gay puerto rico

BY ANGELO CASIANO  | “The district court’s ruling errs in so many respects that it is hard to know where to begin,” reads the six-page unsigned opinion from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. This time around, its treatment of the case is a harsh, almost unprecedented treatment for a senior U.S. District Court Judge like Juan Pérez-Giménez.

Judge Pérez-Giménez had ruled in favor of the Commonwealth’s ban in October 2014, but the First Circuit of Appeals sent the case back to the trial court after the Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, striking down marriage bans nationwide. In the wake of Obergefell the appeals court ordered Pérez-Giménez to “further consider” the matter “in light of,” said decision adding that the appeals court judges “agree with the parties … that the ban is unconstitutional.”

The Commonwealth’s Government led by Alejandro García Padilla (which initially opposed marriage equality at the District Court level) backed down and began issuing marriage licenses last Summer.

Nonetheless, in March of this year, Pérez-Giménez upheld the ban for a second time, reasoning that the Supreme Court’s ruling did not apply to an unincorporated territory like Puerto Rico.

In a sternly worded decision handed on Thursday afternooon, the appeals court disagreed, stating, “[i]n ruling that the ban is not unconstitutional because the applicable constitutional right does not apply in Puerto Rico, the district court both misconstrued that right and directly contradicted our mandate” (emphasis ours).

The appeals court granted the request from the parties challenging the ban that the appeals court issue an order “requiring the district court to enter judgment in their favor striking down the ban as unconstitutional.”

The appeals court also took the extraordinary step of unceremoniously kicking Pérez-Giménez off the case, ordering that the case “be assigned randomly by the clerk to a different judge to enter judgment in favor of the Petitioners promptly.”

The matter was before First Circuit Judges Juan Torruella, Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson, and William Joseph Kayatta Jr. The opinion, however, was issued “per curiam,” meaning, “by the court” — as in, it was not signed by any of the judges in particular.

Puerto Rico officials have agreed with the parties challenging the ban that Puerto Rico’s ban is unconstitutional since the Obergefell decision.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Slain Trans Woman Cherry Bush Honored by HRC

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

By Susan Payne The Human Rights Campaign remembers and honors the life of Cherry Bush, a transgender woman who was...

WeHo Says Goodbye to ‘Big Gay’ Starbucks

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

By Susan Payne Starbucks on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Westmount Drive is now closed.  Affectionately called “Big...

Charges Recommended in Los Olivos, Ballard Pride Flag Thefts

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

By Susan Payne The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (SBDS) is looking to file charges against two individuals involved in...

California LGBTQ Health & Human Services Network Names Fourth Director

August 12, 2022

August 12, 2022

By Susan Payne The statewide coalition working to advance LGBTQ health equity announced a new Network director after the previous...

Pride Picnic: Another Staple Pride Event Enters Second Year

August 4, 2022

August 4, 2022

Over 900 guests gather at Hollywood Forever’s Fairbanks Lawn for the LGBT Center’s second annual Pride Picnic By Susan Payne...

Monkeypox Cases Triple in California as Officials Stress It’s Not a Gay Disease

August 4, 2022

August 4, 2022

LA County to host vaccine pop up in WeHo  By Susan Payne Monkeypox cases in California have tripled since the...

Broadway Corridor to Become Long Beach LGBTQ+ Cultural District

August 4, 2022

August 4, 2022

Long Beach City Council approves motion in June By Susan Payne  The parts of the Broadway Corridor in Long Beach...

Liquor License Records Show New West Hollywood Gay Bar Close to Opening

August 4, 2022

August 4, 2022

Dolly Shine coming to former Gym Sportsbar space  By Susan Payne  A new West Hollywood gay bar under the name...

Coming Soon: Third Annual Century City ‘Rock & Roll Casino Night’

August 4, 2022

August 4, 2022

Proceeds from the August 25 event support Chamber programs and services for the business community  By Susan Payne  The Century...

RAND Study Highlights Flaws in New Mental Health Distress Hotline 988

July 29, 2022

July 29, 2022

Study found that out of a pool of 180 officials surveyed, only around 16 percent of survey respondents reported that...

The Center’s Senior Prom Draws Joy, Togetherness on the Dance Floor

July 28, 2022

July 28, 2022

After a three-year pandemic hiatus, The LGBT Center’s Senior Prom returned with a much-needed togetherness on the evening of June...

Man Charged With “Hate-Motivated” Sylmar Murder

July 28, 2022

July 28, 2022

By Susan Payne Officials announced last week that a man in connection with the “hate-motivated” killing of a Sylmar homeless...

GOP Congressman With Anti-Gay Past Seeks Reelection Against Gay Rival in Palm Springs

July 28, 2022

July 28, 2022

By Susan Payne A congressman with an anti-LGBTQ political past is trying something different this year as he attempts reelection...