Pure Celebration? Univision's Take on Gay Marriage in Puerto Rico

The first mass gay wedding in Puerto Rico has everyone in party mode. Or at least that’s the conclusion anyone would come to if they trust and rely on Univision to provide them with accurate news.

The reality, however, was that Univision’s coverage of the first mass gay wedding in Puerto Rico - a practice now obligatory in the U.S. territory because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the matter - completely censored the opposition to same sex marriage that continues to exist in important sectors of Puerto Rican society.

Univision’s report on the subject went well beyond solely featuring the voices of same sex marriage supporters and celebrants.

LOURDES DEL RIO, CORRESPONDENT: More than 60 couples said yes to each other during a rainy afternoon in Old San Juan's Paseo de la Princesa. 

ADA CONDE, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION: Heaven is crying from happiness.

Correspondent Lourdes Del Río framed the report in a way that gave the impression that same sex marriage in Puerto Rico enjoys unified support, including among religious leaders. Specifically, Del Rio spoke of the ceremony’s “wide ecumenical touch” and pointed to the participation of various clergy members.

However, the clergy present at the event all lead religious bodies that are miniscule in comparison to Puerto Rico’s leading religious traditions. The stance on this matter of far more significant Puerto Rican Catholic, Evangelical and Pentecostal leaders was totally ignored.

For example, Univision ignored the perspective of the leaders of Puerto Rico’s majority Catholic population. Among them, Arecibo Bishop Daniel Fernández called the day marking the onset of mass gay weddings on the island “a sad day for Puerto Rican society.” “Moved by love and compassion for our neighbor, it is necessary to remember to all that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.They are contrary to natural law,” Bishop Fernández added.

On behalf of the Puerto Rican Bishops Conference, San Juan Archbishop Roberto González-Nieves is also on record, saying “same-sex marriage destroys the richness of the complementary qualities of the sexes and deprives progeny of the paternal or maternal figure.” González had previously called for a referendum on the matter, to counter a “dictatorial imposition on the state’s part.”

Evangelical leaders have made similarly strong statements, along the same lines.  Carlos Sánchez, who led a protest of the event that was ignored by Univision, pointed out that the same United States Supreme Court that sanctioned same sex marriage “previously legalized slavery in the middle of the 19th century, prohibited prayer and Bible reading in public schools in the 20th century and legalized the massacre of innocent babies with abortion.”

The relevant portions of the referenced national newscast appear below:

Noticiero Univision 08/17/2015 6:30 PM

JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR: More than 60 same sex couples got married in a massive ceremony that is the first multiple gay wedding in Puerto Rico. This historic event was possible after the U.S. Supreme Court declared these unions constitutional. As Lourdes Del Río tells us from San Juan, not even the rain could stop the party.

LOURDES DEL RIO, CORRESPONDENT: Puerto Rico added itself today to the egalitarian movement that allows weddings between people of the same sex in the United States, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision last June 26. As a Commonwealth, these laws also apply here. applies here. More than 60 couples said yes to each other during a rainy afternoon in Old San Juan's Paseo de la Princesa. 

ADA CONDE, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION: Heaven is crying with happiness!

LOURDES DEL RIO: ...unlike other multiple ceremonies, this one had a wide ecumenical touch. Christians, Muslims, Jews and pagans, among others, were included.

ADA CONDE, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION: Here they all were all prepared, and they have been prepared, to carry these unions out and that their marriages be formalized.

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