PUERTO RICO: Marriage Lawsuit Filed

A lesbian couple married in Massachusetts in 2004 has filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn Puerto Rico’s ban on same-sex marriage. Via the Washington Post:

The suit filed Tuesday by attorney Ada Conde challenges the constitutionality of Puerto Rican laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman, as well as those that prohibit same-sex marriage and the recognition of such marriages. Conde said she has been in a relationship for nearly 14 years with Ivonne Alvarez, an accountant and financial adviser whom she married in Massachusetts in August 2004.

“We wish to enjoy the same social privileges and contractual rights … and not to be treated as we are being treated as second-class citizens,” she said. Conde is suing Puerto Rico’s heath secretary, who oversees the island’s demographic registry, as well as the registrar of vital records. Conde said the lack of recognition of their relationship complicated things when her young daughter had to have open-heart surgery for a second time and Alvarez could not participate in the decision-making process.

Puerto Rico has seen several recent advances in LGBT rights, including the 2013 passage of an employment anti-discrimination bill. However also last year a court upheld Puerto Rico’s ban on gay adoption.