Over 60 gay cou­ples mar­ried in Puerto Rico

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Over 60 cou­ples from around the re­gion gath­ered in Puerto Rico’s cap­i­tal Sun­day to ex­change vows at a same-sex mar­riage cer­e­mony while a crowd of sup­port­ers snapped photos and cheered.

The mass cer­e­mony at a prom­e­nade in San Juan’s colo­nial dis­trict took the same-sex cou­ples through the tra­di­tional mar­riage vows and ex­change of rings.

The event fol­lows the land­mark U.S. Supreme Court de­ci­sion in late June re­quir­ing ev­ery state to rec­og­nize same-sex mar­riages. The U.S. is­land’s gover­nor signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der soon af­ter that rul­ing to com­ply.

Or­ga­nizer Ada Conde, an at­tor­ney who filed a fed­eral law­suit seek­ing to have her same-sex mar­riage rec­og­nized in Puerto Rico prior to the Supreme Court de­ci­sion, said Sun­day’s cer­e­mony was a “cel­e­bra­tion of the tri­umph of love.”

Most of the cou­ples were Puerto Ri­cans, but oth­ers from the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, Cuba and Venezuela also par­tic­i­pated in the event.

Car­ry­ing an um­brella em­bla­zoned with the col­ors of the rain­bow, Puerto Ri­can gay rights ac­tivist Pe­dro Julio Ser­rano de­scribed the cer­e­mony as “a his­toric mo­ment for our com­mu­nity.”

“Af­ter so many years, we are fi­nally able to marry here in Puerto Rico,” he said from the prom­e­nade in Old San Juan as the cou­ples gath­ered in wed­ding dresses and suits.

The cer­e­mony was crit­i­cized by the Ro­man Catholic bishop of Arecibo, Mon­signor Daniel Fer­nan­dez Tor­res. Cit­ing the church’s cat­e­chism, which de­fines mar­riage as a sacra­ment, he said that a mar­i­tal union can be shared only by a man and woman and that same-sex mar­riages are “con­trary to nat­u­ral law.”

“To­day is a sad day for Puerto Ri­can so­ci­ety,” Fer­nan­dez said in a state­ment.

Puerto Rico un­til re­cently pro­hib­ited same-sex mar­riage and the recog­ni­tion of such mar­riages, but the gov­ern­ment struck down those laws af­ter the Supreme Court de­ci­sion. Of­fi­cials also now al­low gay cou­ples to adopt chil­dren.

In re­cent days, Gov. Ale­jan­dro Gar­cia Padilla also signed two ex­ec­u­tive or­ders that al­low trans­gen­der and trans­sex­ual peo­ple to change their gen­der on their driver’s li­cense and pro­tect their rights when seek­ing med­i­cal ser­vices.

AP

Ada Conde, right, and Ivonne Alvarez, left, kiss their daugh­ter Adita Alvarez dur­ing a mass same-sex wed­ding in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sun­day, Aug. 16.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.