In Puerto Rico, U.S. District Court Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez, on March 8, upheld the commonwealth's ban on same-sex marriage, saying that last year's landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage rights doesn't necessarily apply to the unincorporated territory.
The judge upheld the same ban in 2014.
This time, Perez-Gimenez based his ruling on Puerto Rico's status as an "unincorporated territory" that "is not treated as the functional equivalent of a State for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment."
In a statement, Lambda Legal staff attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan ( disagreeing with the judge ) said, "The fundamental right to marriage applies across the United States, in states and territories alike. This abhorrent and fundamentally flawed decision is out of step with the times and incongruent with the constitutional principles applicable to all persons in the United States, whether they live in a state or territory or whether they are straight or gay."
However, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro GarcÃa Padilla has insisted that same-sex weddings will proceed, regardless of the judge's ruling, according to PinkNews. He said that equal-marriage case had already been concluded, with the U.S. Supreme Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals both affirming that all U.S. citizens have a "fundamental right to marriage," including same-sex couples.
Read about the case at www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/conde-v-rius-armendariz. The PinkNews article is at www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/10/puerto-rico-governor-promises-equal-marriage-is-here-to-stay-despite-court-ruling-to-re-ban-it/.