The bill submitted by Senator Ramon Luis Nieves would ban anti-TBLG discrimination in em
The bill’s passage also comes three days after San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz mandated the Puerto Rican capital’s police department to equally apply the island's current domestic violence laws, regardless of the reported victim’s sexual orientation.
The mayor also signed a second executive order that bans discrimination against San Juan's municipal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
Senate Bill 238 isn't the only bill the island's TBLG community is watching. House of Representatives Bill 488 seeks to extend existing domestic violence protections to any person regardless of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Amnesty International says that lawmakers have a “historic opportunity” to end discrimination against Puerto Rico’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.
“The approval of these two laws would be a big step for justice and equality for an important sector of Puerto Rico’s population, which to date has fallen victim to institutionalized discrimination,” said Pedro Santiago, director of Amnesty International Puerto Rico.
“These two measures would expand the protection of rights for LGBTI people in Puerto Rico. Our legislators should be brave enough to overcome prejudice when making new laws. Human rights are not a matter of choice but of justice, and all people are entitled to enjoy them regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Santiago.
The passage of these bills would also be welcome news for Puerto Rico's trans community, which endured a horrific spike in anti-trans violence and murders on the island several years ago.
Senate Bill 238 moves on to the Puerto Rican House of Representatives for its approval before it hits Governor Luis Fortuno's (R) desk for his signature