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).
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."
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).
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).
SeeMolina v. Irizarry, 136 D.P.R. 259 (1994) (non-precedential judgment allowing lesbian mother to retain custody of 5-year old child though father challenged custody on basis of mother’s sexual orientation).