Politics

Puerto Rico celebrates its first same-sex weddings

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Credit:

José Madera

After the US Supreme Court's ruling that declared marriage equality constitutional in all of the United States, the government of Puerto Rico announced that it would start the processes required to comply with the court's decision.

The results could be seen last Sunday, when more than 60 same-sex couples formalized their commitment to each other in a mass wedding in Old San Juan under the rain. The event was organized by activists Ivonne Álvarez and Ada Conde, who also married each other in Sunday's mass wedding.

The rain by no means dampened the spirits of the people gathered there. After many months of drought, it was instead seen by some as a blessing.

The event was celebrated without incident, in spite of a group of people protesting nearby who were mainly from religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage. It must be said, however, that there were also representatives from other faiths and Christian denominations that not only supported the marriages with their presence, but also blessed the unions by officiating some of the weddings. (Also in attendance: the Pastafarians, who “believe” in the famous Flying Spaghetti Monster.)

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For many, it was the first time they could express their feelings about each other so openly.

Credit:

José Madera

For the couples that married, the experience was deeply emotional. Some couples had lived together for many years already and a few had even raised children together, an impressive accomplishment, considering how socially conservative Puerto Rico can be.

There still lingered much of the feeling that many same-sex marriage advocates had when the Supreme Court's ruling was first announced—a lot of joy and a bit of disbelief at the same time.

On that occasion, Amárilis Pagán, an outspoken advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people's rights and executive director of Proyecto Matria, urged people to keep on fighting for full equality:

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Human rights advocate Pedro Julio Serrano celebrated the fact that same-sex couples could now get married in Puerto Rico, but also reminded people about other members of the LGBTQ community who have yet to gain the legal recognition of their rights:

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A version of this story was cross-posted at Global Voices, a community of 1,200 bloggers and reporters worldwide.