On Thursday, November 7, 2013 a group of students from the class English 3268: Writing for the Communications Media the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez conducted a press conference to current struggles of the LGBTT community in Puerto Rico. The conference, which took place in Chardon Building, featured Professor Luis Nieves, an active researcher in the topic, attorney José Rodríguez Irrizary, president of Heterosexuales por la Igualdad, Elvin Ramos, an LGBTT community member and Denise Echevarría, President of Gay Straight Alliance of the UPRM.
The purpose of the discussion was to familiarize students with the LGBTT movement and to educate them about current issues involving this community. For example, Prof. Luis Nieves said: “government still have to work a lot with the second parent adoption, which means that any person could adopt with any other person to become the adoptive parents of a child. Adoption laws in Puerto Rico state that a single person can adopt; however, that persons partner cannot adopt the child.”
In addition to current LGBTT struggles panelists discuss their own personal experiences as part of the community. For example, UPRM student Denise Echevarría shared her experience about not coming out of the closet and she added: “You don’t have to live saying that you are or you are not gay, I never came out of the closet, but my advice for those who are gay lesbian or different is not to feel that you have to come out whenever people find out, if you are gay so be it.
In an additional resource and according to Towle Road, an LGBTT site, senator María González López on November 10, 2013 filed two bills to overturn the adoption law in Puerto Rico that prohibits same sex couples from adopting children. González told the Associated Press that continuing to discriminate against same sex couples will lead to economic, emotional and psychological consequences. The bill is already facing resistance from conservative religious sectors in the island.
González is also working on another bill to establish a new curriculum in public schools that will examine gender issues including sexual discrimination. If this bill were approved it will join ranks with the bill approved earlier this year to ban LGBTT discrimination in the workplace and the addition of LGBTT cases to the domestic violence law in Puerto Rico, signed by governor Alejandro García Padilla this year demonstrating the importance of this group of the society called LGBTT Comunity.