Embattled Puerto Rico governor resigns

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (center) talks about bills that would have banned so-called conversion therapy and protect religious freedom in the U.S. commonwealth during a press conference at his official residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 23, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Adlyn Torres/La Fortaleza)

Embattled Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on July 24 announced his resignation.

Rosselló in his long awaited speech from La Fortaleza, his official residence, noted his efforts to support LGBT Puerto Ricans as among his administration’s accomplishments. Rosselló said his resignation will be effective as of Aug. 2 at 5 p.m.

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Puerto Rico governor will not seek re-election, resigns as head of party

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, center, talks about bills that would have banned so-called conversion therapy and protect religious freedom in the U.S. commonwealth during a press conference at his official residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 23, 2019. Photo courtesy of Adlyn Torres/La Fortaleza.

Embattled Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Sunday announced he will not seek re-election and will resign as the chair of his pro-statehood party.

“I have made mistakes and I have apologized,” said Rosselló in a message he posted to his Facebook page. “I am a good man who has a lot of love for his island and for everyone.”

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Puerto Rico’s first center for LGBTQ elders opens

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Puerto Rico’s first center for LGBT elders took place in San Juan on Tuesday.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz spoke alongside Wilfred Labiosa, executive director of Waves Ahead and SAGE Puerto Rico, and San Juan Municipal Assembly President Marco Antonio Rigau before they took part in the ceremony. Representatives of Intersections International, a New York-based LGBT-affirming ministry, and CenterLink were among those who also attended.

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San Juan mayor: Trump ‘unhinged from any sense of reality’

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Wednesday reiterated her sharp criticism of President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico a year ago.

“More than 3,000 people have died, that’s for sure,” she told the Washington Blade during an interview in Old San Juan. “They died of neglect. They died because they couldn’t have their insulin refrigerated because we didn’t have power. They died because hospitals weren’t ready and because hospitals didn’t have power. Those are deaths that could have been preventable and they weren’t.”

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Puerto Rico Senate approves religious freedom bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Puerto Rico Senate has approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth. Activists and their supporters have urged Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to veto the measure. Image by Nicolas Raymond; courtesy Flickr

The Puerto Rico Senate on Sunday approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth.

The bill — which is known as the Law for the Protection of Religious Liberty in Puerto Rico — notes the U.S. and Puerto Rican constitutions guarantee freedom of religion. The measure also states “it is important to remember the situations of confrontations that the religious sector experienced in the past administration where the public education sector tried to impose an ideology contrary to parents’ Christian principles.”

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Puerto Rico’s first LGBT monument undamaged by Hurricane Maria

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part interview with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz that the Washington Blade conducted on Nov. 1, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in D.C. Part one of the interview can be found here.

The mayor of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan on Wednesday said Hurricane Maria did not damage the U.S. commonwealth’s first LGBT-specific monument.

Carmen Yulín Cruz on June 26, 2016, formally unveiled the monument — which is located in San Juan’s oceanfront Third Millennium Park — during the city’s annual Pride parade.

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San Juan mayor struggles to help people with HIV/AIDS

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part interview with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz the Washington Blade conducted on Nov. 1, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in D.C.

The mayor of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan on Wednesday said her government is doing everything it can to help people with HIV/AIDS in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Carmen Yulín Cruz noted to the Washington Blade during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center there is a clinic for adults and children with AIDS in San Juan. She said officials “stocked up” on medications and other supplies before Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast on Sept. 20 with 155 mph winds.

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