Over 60 Same Sex Couples Say “I Do” in Puerto Rico
Over 2 million couples tie the knot every year in the United States. Before this year, this number was largely attributed to heterosexual couples.
But on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples from all 50 states had the right to marriage, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Since then, same-sex couples have been rejoicing and celebrating in the best way possible: by getting married.
Among those celebrating is Puerto, the United States territory and island, just off the coast of the Dominican Republic.
In fact, earlier this August, over 60 couples in Puerto Rico commemorated the recent Supreme Court decision by holding a mass wedding ceremony in San Juan, the territory’s capital.
The mass ceremony took place in one of the capital’s promenade, during which couples from all over the region came to say “I do.”
This mass wedding marks the first of many same-sex marriages to take place in Puerto Rico.
Shortly after the Supreme Court decision was made in June, the U.S. island announced that it would be taking the necessary steps to comply with the court’s decision.
Come early July, couples began applying for marriage licenses.
In addition to allowing same sex marriages, the island will also allow same sex couples to adopt children.
While majority of the couples wed in the mass vow exchange were Puerto Rican, couples came from all over, including Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.
In a recent US News article, gay rights activist Julian Cerrano remarked that the ceremony was a “historic moment for our community.”
He adds, “After so many years, we are finally able to marry here in Puerto Rico.”
Unfortunately, not everyone in Puerto Rico is rejoicing in the same manner.
As a largely Catholic region, many of the U.S. Island’s clergy members feel that the new laws are directly violating the church’s catechism and is a direct act of sacrilege.
“Today is a sad day for Puerto Rican society,” said Monsignor Daniel Fernandez Torres, Roman Catholic bishop of Arecibo.
Despite criticism from the church, this mass wedding ceremony marks a beautiful change in love and legislation for the United States island.