First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

News from the Colonies

So … almost … there.

The news from the colonies:

The Puerto Rican government on Friday announced it will no longer defend the U.S. commonwealth’s same-sex marriage ban.

The Washington Blade“Because of sexual orientation, Puerto Rico has denied rights that others enjoy,” said Justice Minister César Miranda during a press conference in San Juan. “This is not correct.”

The announcement coincides with a brief Gov. Alejandro García Padilla’s administration filed with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which is hearing a lawsuit against the island’s same-sex marriage ban.

“To the extent that commonwealth law does not afford homosexual couples the same rights and entitlements that heterosexual couples enjoy, the commonwealth recognizes that equal protection and substantive due process guarantees mandate application of heightened scrutiny in this case,” reads the brief. “Under said heightened standard, the commonwealth cannot responsibly advance before this court any interest sufficiently important or compelling to justify the differentiated treatment afforded so far to plaintiffs.”

(Lavers)

Three brief notes:

• Many thanks to Gov. Alejandro García Padilla, whose outlook has apparently evolved greatly over the last year.

• We … are … winning.

• This is not over, yet.

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Lavers, Michael K. “Puerto Rican government to no longer defend marriage ban”. The Washington Blade. 20 March 2015.