Photo: Ricky Martin
Singer Ricky Martin called Wednesday in a letter sent to the Puerto Rican House of Representatives for the legislative body to approve bill No. 238, which would prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation on the island.
The letter, which was released by Martin’s representatives in San Juan, was made public at a time when the bill has run into opposition by a group of lawmakers in the lower house, where it is now stuck after being approved by the Puerto Rican Senate last week.
On Monday, legislators with the majority Popular Democratic Party, or PPD, in the lower chamber were unable to reach consensus despite the intervention of Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who supported the bill’s approval during his election campaign.
Martin called on House Speaker Jaime Perello and Gov. Garcia Padilla to take the lead in forging consensus among lawmakers for passage of the bill.
“The rights of homosexual people are human rights and human rights are for everyone,” said the singer.
Martin emphasized that Puerto Rico must not be lag behind while countries such as France, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, South Africa, Denmark, Uruguay, New Zealand and the United States are moving forward on acknowledging the rights of gays.
He said that all people have the right to equality, regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity and he declared that the lawmakers have a responsibility to put an end to the violence, the hatred and the discrimination against the homosexual community.
Bill 238 is the first of three pushed by the government in favor of equality, regardless of sexual identity, the other House bills being No. 437 and No. 488.