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Federal judge rejects lawsuit favoring gay marriages in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct 22 (EFE).-A U.S. federal judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by several homosexual couples claiming their marriages contracted in other states of the United States should be recognized in Puerto Rico.

Judge Juan Perez Gimenez dismissed the lawsuit which was initially filed by activist Ada Conde and her spouse, Ivonne Alvarez, and was later joined by other couples.

The couples claimed that article 68 of the civil code of the Commonwealth, which establishes marriage as a union between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional.

“Because no right to same-gender marriage emanates from the Constitution, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico should not be compelled to recognize such unions,” the judge said in his decision.

In his opinion, Puerto Rican law on same sex marriages should not be decided by judges but by the Puerto Rican legislature following debate between citizens and their elected representatives.

Recently, Puerto Rican justice officials requested that U.S. authorities dismiss the lawsuit filed in March by Conde and Alvarez, who claimed their marriage contracted in Massachusetts more than a decade ago be recognized in Puerto Rico as legal and legitimate.

During his mandate between 1993 and 2000, then-Puerto Rican governor Pedro Rossello passed a law banning the recognition of same sex marriages contracted in other jurisdictions of the United States.

However, last year the Puerto Rican senate and the lower house approved measures which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the workplace. EFE