Puerto Rico's highest court, the
Supreme Tribunal, has rejected a challenge to an adoption ban for gay
and lesbian couples.
According to El
Vocero, the 9-member panel upheld the law with a narrow 5-4
The challenge comes in a case in which
a Puerto Rican woman sought to adopt her partner's daughter.
According to the paper, current law
only allows a gay couple to adopt if the biological mother gives up
her rights to the child. However, this rule does not apply when the
couple is heterosexual.
The court's majority determined that
the law was constitutional because the territory's constitution “does
not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation,” El
Nuevo Dia reported.
Gay blog Blabbeando
translated a statement form Puerto Rican activist Pedro Julio Serrano
criticizing the ruling.
“With this nefarious decision the
Supreme Tribunal of Puerto Rico fails once again to live up to its
constitutional obligation to grant justice to those who go to the
courts as a last recourse in search of equality,” Serrano
wrote. “This decision goes against the constitution. The
constitution is clear: All citizens should be protected equally and
their dignity should not be violated. This decision violates,
threatens and challenges two of the highest protections in our Carta
Magna. Once again the Supreme Tribunal has failed the people of
Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin also
tweeted his disappointment: “So sad. I see this as turning our
backs on childhood. So many orphans who want the warmth of 1 home.”