Five same-sex couples had launched this challenge in Puerto Rico but Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez thought it was not for judges to decide on the laws of a state, but the legislators.
"Because no right to same-gender marriage emanates from the Constitution, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico should not be compelled to recognize such unions," he wrote in the 21-page ruling. "Instead, Puerto Rico, acting through its legislature, remains free to shape its own marriage policy."
An attorney from the group Lambda Legal, which represents the five couples, said he was surprised by this decision.
"We were obviously surprised by the decision," Lambda Legal attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said by phone. "Close to 50 court decisions have disagreed with that assessment, including four circuit courts of appeals."
"We were obviously surprised by the decision," Lambda Legal lawyer Omar Gonzalez-Pagan said by telephone. "Almost 50 court decisions have disagreed with that assessment, including four call circuit courts."
Yes, one wonders where was the judge Perez-Gimenez during the recent months.
Some days ago, the group appealed the decision.
"Puerto Rico has many loving, committed couples who need the dignity and respect of marriage as soon as possible, and we won't stop fighting on their behalf. The district court's ruling is not only out of step with the rest of the country, it leaves Puerto Rico as the only jurisdiction within the First Circuit to ban marriage for same-sex couples," said Gonzalez-Pagan.