PUERTO RICO: First Circuit Finally Rules Marriage Ban To Be Unconstitutional

Earlier this year the First Circuit punted on the appeal of Puerto Rico’s marriage case, saying that it would wait until SCOTUS rules. Today we finally got that decision. Via Lambda Legal:

Today’s decision provides further recognition of the dignity and equality of LGBT people in Puerto Rico. We applaud the First Circuit for recognizing that Puerto Rico’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, and reversing the lower court ruling. We also commend the Puerto Rico government for joining in the call to end the marriage ban. Certainly, after the historic ruling from the Supreme Court, this ruling from the First Circuit was not unexpected. There remains no legal or moral justification for forcing same-sex couples in Puerto Rico to wait any longer to have their love and commitment recognized by the state. The Governor of Puerto Rico already signed an executive order on June 26 that marriages will begin 15 days after the Supreme Court ruling, but now that the First Circuit has agreed that the marriage ban is unconstitutional, same-sex couples should be able to marry now. To do otherwise is to put form over substance.

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    Ya era hora (or as they say in IN, “about fucking time”)

  • Bruno

    I think Ricky Martin just shook his hips a little.

    • Kevin G

      *bon-bon

  • TheManicMechanic

    Some wingnuts will be losing even more of their shit. Since they are so full of it, this will be an awful long process.

    • oikos

      Their flailing is enjoyable.

      http://gifsb.in/oh-shit/flailing-arms-3.gif

      • Dagoril

        And here I was thinking that one day we would have run out of Tears of Infinite Wingnut Sadness. Silly me!

    • Something funny here

      Watch the original Dumb & Dumber there is a great scene in the movie with Jeff Daniels (Harry) losing his shit.

  • oikos

    AFT!

  • Rocketeer500

    Good on the First Circuit to finally getting around to their ruling. Congratulations Puerto Rico. Welcome to the 21st century.

  • Ninja0980

    Congrats to the happy couples in Puerto Rico!

  • Ninja0980

    The only circuit left to issue orders are the 11th and 8th.
    The latter will be really enjoyable to see.

  • JT

    Good. Maybe this will make some headway against the violent homophobia in other Caribbean locations like Jamaica.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/01/29/why-is-latin-america-so-progressive-on-gay-rights/homophobia-in-the-caribbean

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaHSKJReCXE

  • KnownDonorDad

    Finalmente.

  • Gustav2

    YAY

    • Sam_Handwich

      😀

  • Gyeo

    Now all that’s left is American Samoa.

    • Shy Guy

      And the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

      They’ve promised to get on it, but no specifics about when / how.

      • billbear1961

        These territories are our moral responsibility, and JUSTICE must reign supreme!

        • Shy Guy

          Yes, the latter two are bound by the court, so it must happen. The US Virgin Islands already have a marriage equality bill ready to go, that was recently rejected (before the decision), so they have no real reason for further delay.

          American Samoa is a bit more fuzzy though, as they don’t really have a federal court system and aren’t US Citizens, so they are currently looking into whether the judgment applies there.

          • billbear1961

            If American law doesn’t apply, how can it be said to be a territory?

            For Liberty’s dear sake, they must stretch a point, if necessary!

          • Shy Guy

            It’s all a bit complex.

            “the people of American Samoa are not U.S. citizens, but rather U.S. nationals. Unlike the other U.S. territories, Congress has not enacted an organic act for American Samoa. As such, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has determined that the constitutional rights not expressly extended to American Samoa may not apply.”

            http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20150424_scotus-ruling-would-apply-to-us-territories

          • billbear1961

            Then the bear would suggest that Congress get off their backsides and “enact an organic act”!

          • Shy Guy

            I doubt that will be forthcoming any time soon, since it hasn’t been done in the 48 years since establishing American Samoa’s constitution. There is however a pending court case demanding full citizenship rights for American Samoans, and if that were to succeed, then this issue would already be resolved.

          • billbear1961

            May it succeed!

          • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

            Considering the current Congress, the only “organic act” in the foreseeable future is self-composting.

          • billbear1961

            Yep!

  • JustSayin

    OT. Louisiana state supreme court Judge implies gays are pedophiles and refuses to obey scotus
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/07/08/3677978/louisiana-justice-refuses-obey-supreme-court-opinion-implying-gay-people-rape-children/

    Race to the bottom

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      According to the article in your link, another judge on that same court (Justice Greg Guidry) smacked down his colleague Jefferson D. Hughes, III both on the law and the facts.

      • billbear1961

        Excellent!

      • Shy Guy

        Yes, it was just another bitter dissent. We seem to be getting a lot of those, lately.

        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme
        • billbear1961

          Hail, Shy Guy, sentinel of democracy on one of civilization’s far-flung frontiers!

          • Shy Guy

            No hailing necessary, dear Billbear. I’m just a guy not the Generalissimo.

          • billbear1961

            You are one of Liberty’s watchful guardians!

            Ave, legate libertatis!!

          • Shy Guy

            Ave urse maritime!

          • billbear1961

            😀

      • JustSayin

        Claude sadly this is Louisiana and frequently both law and facts are items not present in our courts or.legislature.

        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

          … or the Governor’s Mansion.

      • KnownDonorDad

        Could that be “Jefferson Davis”?

  • Kruhn

    Again, the Territorial legislature could have reversed the ban through a simple amendment to the Civil Code. The Governor’s party had majorities in both houses and they didn’t need to go through this kabuki theater.

    Now I’m happy that Ada Conde’s marriage in Massachusetts had been recognized in Puerto Rico and that the same sex adoption case that was denied a year or so ago, will now be approved.

    Sorry for poo pooing the decision a little, but in Puerto Rico, things are sometimes not quite what they seem.

    • Mr. E

      Because no way in HELL would it have passed through the Legislature! Just because the Governor’s party is in control doesn’t mean that the votes for marriage equality are there. Trust me, the fundy churches and the Catholic Church still have lots of sway and power here and a huge shitstorm would’ve happened. Also, the Governor has been on record saying that he isn’t for marriage equality, it’s only recently that he changed his tune seeing the inevitable. While I do give him props for signing into law the anti-discrimination bill (which was watered down to just employment, it used to have also housing and public accommodation)as well as the executive order, he’s one of those “Civil unions are good enough” allies.

      • Kruhn

        As an observer of Puerto Rican politics, the first thing we have to remember is that the local parties are extremely disciplined, especially the Governor’s party. The ENDA law (PR Public Law 22) was adopted in the teeth of opposition of the Catholic Church, which is politically allied to the Governor’s party and was not even in their party’s program.

        That means that Governor Garcia Padilla decided to use political capital and got his party to support him on this issue based on the famous party discipline. He has been chiding the Territorial Supreme Court when it ruled against same sex adoptions, stating that the Legislature should amend the Civil Code accordingly, yet decided not to introduce a bill to do so. He had also made some noises pro marriage equality after the Windsor case.

        While the decision from the First Circuit is great and the fact that the Territorial AG (at the Governor’s order) dropping its prosecution was the right thing to do, it’s important to know that the Governor could have spent the political capital and would have had the votes (especially as this Legislature is fond of using discharge petitions to act) to legislate marriage equality. As I said, kabuki theater, but at least in the right direction.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    In French and Spanish… Love Wins.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nWSX9xO4h0

    • Octavio

      Now, that’s different. 🙂

    • Robincho

      Vive l’Amour! & Que Viva el Amor!

  • billbear1961
  • Mike__in_Houston

    I need to seek out my wonderful friend Omar who lives in San Juan and see if he wants to get married…

  • Octavio

    Felicitaciones a todos en Puerto Rico. Espero que sus funcionarios públicos electos entienden y siguen la dirección de la corte.

  • Dagoril

    So we can all start placing our orders for our very own Puerto Rican husbands on BoricuaCaliente.com, right? 😉

    • billbear1961

      Not too caliente to handle?

      😀

  • Randolph Finder

    So the order for the non-states will probably go…
    Washington DC -which did it *early*
    Guam -which was there pre SC decision
    Puerto Rico – No *later* than Monday
    Northern Marianas – Figuring out how to implement
    Virgin Islands – Figuring out how to implement (but has significant political resistance)
    American Samoa – Not even Lambda Legal is sure the SC decision applies.