On 8 MAR 2016, a federal district court judge in Puerto Rice ruled that the US Supreme Court decision on marriage equality in 2015 did not apply to the island commonwealth. U.S. District Court Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez Puerto Rico had ruled the USSC’s landmark decision wasn’t binding in Puerto Rico because of the island commonwealth’s status as an unincorporated territory and that it was not treated as the functional equivalent of a State for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.
However, on 8 APR, the 1st US Court of Appeals, based in Boston MA, overturned Judge Pérez-Giménez’s decision stating that he “misconstrued the law and directly contradicted its mandate.”
On the very day in 2015 that the USSC handed down its decision in favor of marriage equality, the governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Alejandro García Padilla (D), issued an executive order mandating all agencies of the Puerto Rican government to implement the decision in 15 days. Since that time the territorial government has taken other steps to protect the rights of its LGBT citizens.