BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–The Puerto Rican Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the U.S. territory. The 15-11 vote took place after lawmakers for several hours debated Senate Bill 238 that Sen. Ramón Nieves Pérez introduced in January.
The bill’s passage comes three days after San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz mandated the Puerto Rican capital’s police department to equally apply the island’s current domestic violence laws, regardless of the reported victim’s sexual orientation. She also signed a second executive order that bans discrimination against the city’s municipal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
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