- The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A federal judge in Puerto Rico said yes, the territory may in fact keep intact a ban on gay marriage — a ruling that legal minds say could now reverberate among Northeastern states.

“Ultimately, the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage,” U.S. District Court Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez said, The Hill reported.

The judge relied heavily on a 1972 case — where the Supreme Court dismissed a same-sex couple’s appeal of a Minnesota ban on gay marriage — to render his ruling, The Hill reported.

Other federal courts have abstained from considering that case, saying it no longer applies, given the Supreme Court’s rule to erase the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

But the judge in the Puerto Rico case said that states do indeed have the right to decide marriage issues — and that same-sex marriage was hardly a “fundamental right,” he said, The Hill reported.

“One basic principle remains,” he wrote, The Hill reported, “the people, acting through their elected representatives, may legitimately regulate marriage by law.”

Puerto Rice falls under the First Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Boston, and is largely expected to take up an appeal — which in turn could affect the other states in its jurisdiction that already allow gay marriage. Those states include Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

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