PUERTO RICO: Lambda Legal To Appeal “Aberrant” Marriage Lawsuit Dismissal

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

“The court’s ruling directly conflicts with the wave of recent decisions finding these marriage bans unconstitutional and perpetuates the discrimination and harm done to same-sex Puerto Rican couples and their families,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “It defies the unmistakable import of the Windsor decision and flies in the face of the blizzard of rulings of the last year, the reasoned rulings of the Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits, and the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the rulings striking down five bans similar to Puerto Rico’s. One struggles to understand how this judge came to a different conclusion. We will, of course, appeal this ruling to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals,” Gonzalez-Pagan said. “All families in Puerto Rico need the protections of marriage.”

On March 25th, 2014, Ada Mercedes Conde Vidal and Ivonne Álvarez Vélez filed a lawsuit to compel Puerto Rico to recognize their marriage, which they entered into in Massachusetts. In June, Lambda Legal joined and amended that lawsuit to include four more plaintiff couples, two seeking recognition of marriages entered into in other jurisdictions and two who seek to marry in Puerto Rico, as well as an organizational plaintiff, Puerto Rico Para [email protected] “It is outrageous that loving committed LGBT couples and their families have been deprived of their civil rights and dignity,” said Pedro Julio Serrano, founder and president of Puerto Rico Para [email protected] “We are hopeful that justice will prevail and that the equality promised by the Constitution will be upheld.” Lambda Legal attorneys Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Hayley Gorenberg, and Jael Humphrey are handling the case, joined by co-counsel Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, local counsel Celina Romany-Siaca of the Law Offices of Celina Romany, and Ada Conde Vidal representing herself and her wife.

Read more about the case.