In Your State
Puerto Rico ▼
Puerto Rico statute prohibits marriage between same-sex couples.
See 29 L.P.R.A §146.
Puerto Rico’s discrimination laws do not cover sexual orientation and gender identity. See Santa v. B. Fernandez, 438 F. Supp. 2d 33 (D.P.R. 2006) (employment discrimination claim on the basis of sexual orientation dismissed because neither Puerto Rican nor federal law prohibit sexual orientation discrimination). See also 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1).
An executive order that applies only to public state employees prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was signed in 2008, but it has never been enforced. See http://app.estado.gobierno.pr/Ordenes_Ejecutivas/2008/OE-2008-57.pdf.
All government employees are protected by the U.S. Constitution against irrational discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, some measure of protection already exists under Title VII based on gender, which has been held to include gender identity and expression.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have interpreted Title VII to protect transgender employees, and the EEOC has interpreted Title VII to cover sexual orientation discrimination. The Supreme Court has held that the EEOC's interpretations of Title VII are entitled to "great deference."
See Molina v. Irizarry, 136 D.P.R. 259 (1994) (non-precedential judgment allowing lesbian mother to retain custody of 5-year old child though father challenged custody on basis of mother’s sexual orientation).