Current Affairs

Puerto Rico just got its first openly gay cabinet member

Joe Williams August 13, 2015
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Secretary of Housing Alberto Lastra Power has announced that he’s gay, making him the government’s first openly gay cabinet member.

The politician – who also revealed the he has recently married his partner of 18 years – tweeted that he has overcome the prejudice he has faced as a gay man, reports On Top magazine.

“The prejudice that I have lived as a gay man I have overcome. You too can beat discrimination,” he messaged to recent graduates in the US territory.

Hordes of his followers flocked to congratulate Lastra Power – including out singer Ricky Martin, the island’s best known export.

“Congratulations,” Martin messaged. “A full life. That is the true meaning of success. Peace!”

Martin has previously urged Puerto Rican lawmakers to back measures that would provide adoption and other legal protections to the area’s LGBT residents.

Lastra Power’s announcement comes after the ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in the US territory in July.
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The US Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in all 50 states of the USA – but the ruling did not immediately apply in Puerto Rico, which has a population of 3.5 million.

A panel of three judges overturned a previous ruling upholding the ban, finding that following the US-wide ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, Puerto Rico must also adopt same-sex marriage.

Related topics: Americas, Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin, same sex marriage

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