John M. Becker

Lesbian Couple Files Puerto Rico's First Marriage Suit

Filed By John M. Becker | March 27, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Ada Conde, gay marriage, lawsuit, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico LGBT rights, same-sex marriage

puerto-rico-map.gifGreat news out of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where a lesbian attorney who married her wife on the U.S. mainland filed a federal lawsuit this week challenging discriminatory laws that exclude gays and lesbians from marriage and forbid the recognition of legal same-gender marriages performed elsewhere.

The suit was filed Tuesday by Ada Conde, who married accountant and financial advisor Ivonne Alvarez in Massachusetts in 2004.

The AP reports:

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. "Gay and lesbian individuals have suffered a long and painful history of societal and government-sponsored discrimination," she said in the lawsuit.

The AP also notes that Conde's suit comes against the backdrop of a broader battle over LGBT rights on the island. Last year, lawmakers approved a law banning employment discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, and another measure expanding a domestic violence law to include same-sex couples. But it's not all good news: that same year, the territory's Supreme Court also upheld a local law that bans adoptions by same-sex parents.

This week's marriage equality lawsuit represents an important step forward for Puerto Rico's LGBT community. Way to go, Ada!

A copy of the complaint is after the jump, via Equality Case Files.

3:14-cv-01253 #1 by Equality Case Files

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