Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives is set to vote on amendments to the island’s Civil Code next week. The Civil Code is the second most important document to Puerto Rican government, only superseded by the Constitution. El Nuevo Día published an explainer on what the proposed changes to the civil code are and how they would affect people. David Begnaud translated some to English on his twitter:
Wednesday in Puerto Rico the Senate will vote on an amendment to the Civil Code.
Activists say the proposed changes limit liberties.
If passed, it will:
*Open the door to conversion therapy
*Not allow transgender people to change their sex on their birth certificate pic.twitter.com/SGcaOU5oZo
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) November 9, 2019
They also published an op-ed by Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin — although it’s available online only to subscribers. Then more celebrities have called against the amendments to the civil code, also stressing that there have been no public hearings on these amendments. Additionally, the governor, Wanda Vazquez, says she doesn’t even know what amendments are being proposed to the new Civil Code because she hasn’t seen them.
¡ALERTA! Esto es bien peligroso: “No hemos visto las enmiendas. No sabemos cuáles son las disposiciones que va a tener el Código Civil”, dijo la gobernadora.#NoAlCódigoCivil https://t.co/gnDfmFcE3i — Pedro Julio Serrano (@PedroJulio) November 11, 2019
The above tweet translates to: “Warning! This is very dangerous: ‘We have not seen the amendments. We do not know what are the rules that the Civil Code will include,’ the governor said.” It’s hard to know exactly what the Civil Code will say because these amendments and their language have not been made public.
With all of this happening in Puerto Rico, I have not been able to find U.S. news coverage on the issue. Maybe it’s so up in the air right now and the amendment’s language is private and so publications might not want to report on it yet. But commentary by high profile Puerto Rican celebrities brings some relevance to the issue. It’s interesting that with similar protections being rolled back in states all over the U.S. and being covered that this is being ignored.