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Attorney in Puerto Rico who wed another woman in Massachusetts sues for island to recognize marriage

BY DANICA COTO
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A Puerto Rico attorney who married her longtime partner on the U.S. mainland has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to have their marriage recognized in her home territory.

The lawsuit comes as the debate on gay rights intensifies in Puerto Rico, where legislators and religious groups have recently clashed on several issues.

The suit filed Tuesday by attorney Ada Conde challenges the constitutionality of Puerto Rican laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman, as well as those that prohibit same-sex marriage and the recognition of such marriages.

Conde said she has been in a relationship for nearly 14 years with Ivonne Alvarez, an accountant and financial adviser whom she married in Massachusetts in August 2004.

"We wish to enjoy the same social privileges and contractual rights ... and not to be treated as we are being treated as second-class citizens," she said.

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