Looking Out: Same-sex couple files marriage lawsuit in Puerto Rico

A lesbian couple married in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit this week looking for recognition of their marriage in Puerto Rico.

Ada Conde and Ivonne Alvarez married in Massachusetts in 2004. Because Puerto Rico signed a law in 1999 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, the couple's union is not recognized in the commonwealth.

"We wish to enjoy the same social privileges and contractual rights that are conferred by the Commonwealth on individuals in opposite-sex marriages," Conde and Alvarez write in the lawsuit

In the lawsuit, Conde writes that Puerto Rico's lack of recognition for her marriage prevented Alvarez from making medical decisions during Conde's daughter's heart surgery.

The pair also wrote that the inability to have their marriage recognized by Puerto Rico has caused them "severe humiliation, emotional distress, pain, suffering, psychological harm and stigma."

Let's move on to other news:

  • Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn came out in Rolling Stone this week. By far my favorite line in the article (and if you've been reading, this won't surprise you): "I've gotten tired of kind-of gay or straight people being pop culture's gay [spokespeople] – like Macklemore."

  • Transgender individuals in El Salvador were eligible to vote in national elections for the first time in March. Previously, transgender individuals were excluded from voting because their appearances did not match the brith names on their identification cards.

  • Not explicitly LGBT-related but still relevant: A Virginia elementary school told an 8-year-old she needed to dress in a more feminine way if she wanted to come back next year. Sunnie Kahle is a tomboy; her grandmother told a TV station "Sunnie realizes she's female, but she wants to do boy things." But her school says it won't educate her unless she understands "that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit."

  • The NFL is still waiting for an openly gay player, but Sweden has its first openly gay American-style football player. Wide receiver Marcus Juhlin, whjo plays for the Carlstad Crusaders, took a step out of the closet in an interview with a Swedish magazine. Pretty incredible, right? Football in Sweden? 

  • Mozilla, the folks who fund the popular Firefox browser, found itself in hot water after hiring a CEO who once donated $1,000 to support California's Proposition 8. In response, some LGBT developers are boycotting the browser.

  • In a more-safe-for-work-than-you'd-expect interview with Out, adult film star and Charm City resident Colby Keller totally reps for Baltimore. "I came to Baltimore for Art School and fell in love with it," he told Out. "It's less expensive than most bigger cities and the art scene is phenomenal for a city of its size." You can make your own size joke here.

And that's all the news we've got this week. And, I should say, that's all the news I've got for Gay Matters. Starting next week, Kevin Rector will take over Looking Out duties. I've enjoyed chronicling the LGBT happenings in the world for the last few months. Thanks for reading!

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