The Puerto Rico House of
Representatives on Friday approved a bill which seeks to prohibit
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
After a roughly 3 hour debate, the
measure cleared the chamber with a 29-22 vote. The Puerto Rican
Senate approved the bill earlier this month.
Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla
lobbied for passage of the bill and has pledged to sign it into law.
Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force praised the bill's passage.
“Today is a thrilling day in Puerto
Rican history,” he said. “A decade ago, LGBT Puerto Ricans were
criminals under the sodomy law. Today, we're second-class citizens
and when this bill is signed into law, we will be closer to achieving
the first-class citizenship that we deserve. Equality is inevitable.
Puerto Rico will be for all.”
The House also approved a second bill
which seeks to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the
nation's domestic violence laws. It now heads to the Senate.
Martin calls on Puerto Rico to approve gay rights law.)