Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Puerto Rico Concedes On Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Last October, a Puerto Rico federal district court gave a rare victory to opponents of same-sex marriage. (See prior posting.)  Plaintiffs appealed the decision to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.  Last week, Puerto Rican officials filed a brief with the 1st Circuit (full text) stating that Puerto Rico would no longer defend the constitutionality of its marriage laws.  Appellanats' brief states in part:
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. 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.
Freedom to Marry website has more on the decision.