Puerto Rico

Relationships

YES
Does Puerto Rico allow same-sex couples to marry?
YES
Does Puerto Rico recognize marriages of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions?
NO
Does Puerto Rico offer any other type of relationship recognition for same-sex couples?

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality, state and local officials can and should stop enforcing their marriage bans immediately. But it is possible that officials in some places may not start allowing couples to marry until the federal courts issue orders directly prohibiting them from enforcing their state or territory’s marriage ban. Federal lawsuits have been brought in all states that continue to enforce their marriage bans as well as in Puerto Rico, and we expect attorneys in those cases to promptly ask the courts to issue injunctions or to take other steps now that the Supreme Court has ruled. We know from experience, however, that this process can take a different amount of time in each jurisdiction depending on how quickly the courts move and how much government officials attempt to drag out the process. The process could be resolved as quickly as within a matter of days or it could take a bit longer depending on the particular jurisdiction.

Workplace

YES
Does Puerto Rico law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does Puerto Rico law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?
YES
Does Puerto Rico law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
YES
Does Puerto Rico law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?
  Discrimination on the basis of HIV status is prohibited under Puerto Rican law. See 1 L.P.R.A §521, and 1 L.P.R.A § 522, et. seq. (“Bill of Rights for Carriers of HIV/AIDS” establishing affirmative rights for persons living with HIV).

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." 

Parenting

Miscellaneous
Second parent adoptions:

Not permitted.  See Ex Parte A.A.R., 2008 WL 4673279 (T.C.A. Aug. 29, 2008) (denying same-sex second-parent adoption) (case pending before the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico).

Miscellaneous
Who may adopt?

Different-sex married couples adopting jointly, and unmarried (single) individuals, regardless of sexual orientation. There is no express prohibition on adoption by an LGBT individual. See Puerto Rico Civil Code, Annotated Laws of Puerto Rico Title 31, § 531 & Title 31, § 534; see also Perez v. Proc. Esp. Rel. de Fam., 148 D.P.R. 201 (1999) (only different-sex married couples may adopt jointly).

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).
Photo: Alamy

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.