Pedro Rossello, a popular former
conservative governor of Puerto Rico, has endorsed gay marriage.
“We're in a period where it is
important to speak about human rights,” Rossello said during a
press conference held in late January. “In that context we should
recognize the rights of all people regardless of their sexual
“I'm here pushing for human rights,
and that is a human right I believe in,” the former two-term
The stance is a reversal for Rossello,
who as governor signed a law prohibiting the territory from
recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples held abroad.
Puerto Rican gay activist Pedro Julio
Serrano called the endorsement “extraordinary.”
“We've reached a point of no return
in Puerto Rico … Equality is inevitable,” he told the AP.
Two bills backed by the governing
Popular Democratic Party address gay rights, but marriage remains on
the back burner. One bill would outlaw discrimination based on
sexual orientation or gender, while the other would extend a domestic
violence law to gay and lesbian couples.
The proposed legislation triggered a
massive protest last month at the Capitol Building in San Juan. An
estimated 200,000 people called on lawmakers to reject any measure
which would redefine the family unit.
“This is very dangerous,” prominent
Puerto Rican pastor Wanda Rolon told the crowd. “It's going to
raise some doubts that can bring about confusion.”
In 2011, Rolon made headlines when she
criticized singer Ricky Martin's coming out, saying
he was leading his fans to “hell.”
Rico's highest court affirms gay adoption ban.)