Federal Judge, Juan Perez-Gimenez, claimed that Puerto Rico isn’t included in the Supreme Court's June decision Obergefell v. Hodges, because it's a territory and not a state. He also rejected a motion to lift a ban on same-sex marriage creating incertainty about the future of same-sex couples on the island, NBC news reports. “One might be tempted to assume that the constant reference made to the ‘States’ in Obergefell includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Yet, it is not the role of this court to venture into such an interpretation,” Pérez-Giménez wrote in his ruling.

He previously ruled against marriage equality claiming that Puerto Rico's status is recognized as an "unincorporated territory" that "is not treated as the functional equivalent of a State for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment."Under this doctrine, "the Constitution applies in full in incorporated Territories surely destined for statehood but only in part in unincorporated Territories."

Yet, Governor Alejandro García Padilla released an statement  declaring that he will continue to follow the U.S. Supreme Court and First Circuit Court of Appeals rulings. "The fundamental right to marriage has been ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit of Boston. Thus, I’m going to respect the rulings of the higher courts which, thankfully, ordered matters to proceed much differently than Judge Perez Giménez."