Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has signed legislation that bars workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and that extends protection from domestic violence to same-sex couples. This puts Puerto Rico ahead of Congress and almost half the states in enacting laws to prevent employment discrimination.
The action came after strong opposition from religious groups, that succeeded in watering down the original legislation which would have covered commercial transactions, property rentals and public transportation as well as employment.
The Washington Post reported that “earlier this year, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an order extending health insurance coverage to the domestic partners of workers in his executive branch of government, regardless of gender. The island’s Justice Department also is prosecuting its first hate crime case for the killing of a hairstylist who was set on fire.”