A federal judge has upheld Puerto Rico’s definition of marriage as between one man and one women. While the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in Obergefell v. Hodges extended marriage to same-sex couples, U.S. District Court Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez asserted that the ruling does not apply to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S territory.
Judge Pérez-Giménez said of Obergefell ruling: “One might be tempted to assume that the constant reference made to the ‘States’ in Obergefell includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. . . . Yet, it is not the role of this court to venture into such an interpretation.”
He based his ruling on Puerto Rico’s status as an “unincorporated territory” that “is not treated as the functional equivalent of a State for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment,” reasoning that the U.S. Constitution applies only partially to a territory like Puerto Rico. “Under this doctrine,” he wrote, “‘the Constitution applies in full in incorporated Territories surely destined for statehood but only in part in unincorporated Territories.'”
As general background, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, has one non-voting member of Congress. In addition Breitbart explains: “The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has its own Civil Code, which enshrines traditional man-woman marriage in the recognized definition of the institution. It states that marriage is ‘a civil institution, originating in a civil contract whereby a man and a woman mutually agree to become husband and wife and to discharge toward each other the duties imposed by law.’”
Breitbart is clear to show the legal precedent:
In his decision, Perez-Gimenez cites Murphy v.