Puerto Rico Senate Approves LGBT-Inclusive Anti-discrimination Bill

Puerto Rico has approved a sweeping anti-discrimination bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment, public accommodations and government services. The bill passed by a vote of 15-11 in the senate, and will head to the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.

The news comes just after music superstar and Puerto Rico native Ricky Martin urged his home country to extend equality to the LGBT community. "The same rights for each and every citizen of Puerto Rico is what we're asking for, and that's what we hope to achieve — we want justice and peace," wrote Martin in Spanish in a press release on his blog. "Puerto Rico must join the countries of the world that are at the forefront in human rights and equality

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz recently issued a mandate that the city's police department provide equal protection and access to resources for domestic violence no matter their sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender identity. A ban on gay adoption was barely upheld by the Puerto Rican Supreme Court in February.