Praise Puerto Rico Chief Justice for Attempting to Strike Down Law Banning Gay Adoption

Target: Chief Justice Federico Hernandez Denton

Goal: Praise Chief Puerto Rico Supreme Court for attempting to strike down law banning gay adoption as unconstitutional.

The Puerto Rico Supreme Court unfortunately upheld the law banning gay adoption by a narrow 5-4 vote. However, the Chief Justice Federico Hernandez Denton deserves to be praised for his powerful dissent. His strong advocacy of the right of gay couples to adopt and be treated equally under the law should be applauded. Sign the petition to praise the Chief Justice.

The case involved a woman who has for the past 8 years attempted to adopt her partner’s child. The child was born through in-vitro fertilization to her partner of 20 years. Under Puerto Rico law “a person cannot adopt a single-parent child if the would-be adopter is of the same sex as the child’s mother or father without that parent losing their legal rights.” The Chief Justice strongly dissented from the ruling upholding the law, declaring that the law was unconstitutional. He began his opinion by quoting President Obama: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.” He criticized the judges that voted in favor of the law saying that they were using outdated interpretations of the Puerto Rico Constitution, acting “as if it were an ancient manuscript encapsulated in a crystal urn.”

He said the 12-year-old girl in question showed no ill effects from being raised by two mothers and appeared just like any other child. His scathing dissent was concluded by saying, “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.”

Applaud the Chief Justice for his powerful dissent. The ACLU of Puerto Rico believes the Court’s ruling will not be binding and with a new set of facts, things could change. Puerto Rican legislators are prepared to debate laws granting greater rights to gay couples. Sign the petition to applaud Chief Justice Hernandez’s strong support of greater rights of gay couples.


Dear Chief Justice Hernandez,

I am a human rights activist writing to applaud your powerful dissent in the case involving the right of gay couples to adopt. While the Court unfortunately upheld the law narrowly, your strong dissent gives hope to gay couples that soon the law will be changed. This ruling comes as the Puerto Rico legislature is preparing to debate laws granting greater rights to gay couples.

Your dissent provides strong support to arguments by organizations like CABE, an umbrella of dozens of local human rights organizations. It provides them with consolation that while this is a divisive issue in Puerto Rico and the United States, times are changing. I applaud you for your dissent and I am positive that in the near future it will be applauded as being correct. Thank you for your foresight.


[Your Name Here]

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