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Puerto Rico Senate confirms first openly gay justice to Supreme Court

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s Senate on Monday confirmed Maite Oronoz Rodriguez as an Associate Justice on the U.S. island territory’s Supreme Court, making her the first openly gay person to serve on the Court.

Maite Oronoz Rodriguez

Maite Oronoz Rodriguez

Oronoz Rodriguez, who served as legal director for the capital city of San Juan, was nominated earlier this month by Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla to fill a vacancy on the court.

The chamber voted 16-10 in favor of Oronoz Rodriguez’ nomination.

“I am conscious of the enormous responsibility that has come to me, Oronoz Rodriguez told El Nuevo Día earlier this month.

The confirmation of Oronoz Rodriguez to the court is the latest in a series of advances for the LGBT community in Puerto Rico since García Padilla of the commonwealth’s Popular Democratic Party took office in 2013.

Since then, lawmakers have passed a law banning employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, and approved a separate bill that extends a domestic violence law to same-sex couples.

García Padilla signed both bills into law.

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