Earlier this summer, Gay American citizens across America were given the long awaited right to marry and since this pivot event countries all over have been addressing laws that permit civil rights to their Gay civilians. While some countries have seemingly stepped backwards, Puerto Rico is on a progressive track forward despite drawing some protest.
Currently, the island has proposed laws that would one day permit same-sex couples to adopt children. In-addition, the country has added a law that would enable schools examine gender issues and the problems that a misunderstanding regarding its role as a top subject in their school curriculum. However, one religious group has come out against these plans.
Puerto Rico Pro Family, one of the island’s largest Christian groups, said the protests are two ensure constitutional amendments are enacted to limit marriage to heterosexual couples and to allow parents to decide how their children are educated on gender issues.
“There are certain issues that are non-negotiable,” Dr. Cesar Vazquez Muniz, spokesman of Puerto Rico Pro Family, commented about the changes stating the problem is, “that they are trying to change the values of this country.”
Due to the protests, Legislators are holding public hearings on the proposed bills and will soon begin debating the issues of gay rights currently finding some opposition in the country.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Senator Maria Gonzalez Lopez said that the bills she had filled earlier this year that there is an emotional, psychological, and economical effect by disallowing same-sex couples to adopt. Possibly suggesting the ban on same-sex couples to adopt may lead to said couples opting to live elsewhere.
The bill states the importance of enabling same-sex couples to adopt, stating: “It’s imperative that this legislative assembly recognize and not deny existing families their rights. People’s lifestyles are moving further away each time from the concept of a traditional family nucleus.”
The current was filed when back in February Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court voted 5-4 to maintain a local law that banned any adoption requests made by same-sex parents. The vote was appealed by a Puerto Rican woman who, for nearly a decade, tried to adopt a 12-year-old girl her partner for more than 20 years gave birth to via vitro fertilization, the appeal was unsuccessful.
While the same-sex adoption has generated protest, fearing the permitting of Gay couples to adopt may destroy the meaning of family the issue regarding teaching students about gender has the religious organization fearing the government is trying to distort the morals of Puerto Ricans.
However, Senator Gonzalez introduced the bill to educate students on gender issues as way to promote gender equality and end the country’s domestic violence problem.
Despite protests on the change in the curriculum, Puerto Rico’s education secretary approves of the bill and supports it but warns that the department will need more funding and resources to create the gender issue into the curriculum. Also backing Gonzalez’s bill are other officials who want penalties to be added if schools do not comply with the bill.
In response to the ban disallowing Gays to adopt, Puerto Rico’s Supreme Judges said that it was up to legislators to change the adoption laws.
If both bills are passed, Puerto Rico will continue to establish itself as a gay-friendly island considering the island is located in a region where outdated and misunderstood laws are still in-effect and permits the harassment of gay civilians who live there.
While most do not see how gay civil rights and gender issues do not co-relate, they do. Both are currently growing issues that need to be addressed. Both contained two sets of people being discriminated against and deemed un-equal because who and what they are. The introduction of bills to permit or allow for a better livelihood for either man or woman, gay or straight, and anyone else is not an action on disturbing one’s life but to ensure a better living condition for all.