In a 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico ruled in favor of a law preventing gay couples from adopting children together. The majority essentially ceded responsibility to the legislature, writing that the Court “does not have a constitutional obligation to award this relationship the same rights that other relationships have when it comes to adoption procedures.”
The couple that challenged the ban has been together 20 years, and the petitioning mother has fought for the past eight to adopt the 12-year-old daughter they are raising together. The daughter proudly proclaims, “I have two mothers,” but she could not benefit from her one mother’s medical insurance or a possible will, nor could she stay with her second mom if her birth mother dies. Chief Justice Federico Hernandez Denton dissented from the ruling, invoking President Obama’s inaugural address calling for equality for gays and lesbians:
DENTON: Both (women) have ideal emotional skills, intuition and protective instinct to guarantee the girl’s full and healthy development. In addition, tests showed that (the girl) is mentally stable, does exceptionally well in school and gets along very well with children her age. […]
While the rest of the world keeps opening its doors to the legitimate complaints of human beings discriminated against for their sexual orientation, the majority of this court refuses to declare the law in question as unconstitutional.
On Monday, over 200,000 Puerto Ricans protested against LGBT equality, suggesting the legislature may not have a lot of motivation to protect families like the couple in this case.