Ricky Martin Helps Kill “Religious Freedom” Bill in Puerto Rico

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló axed the anti-LGBTQ legislation hours after the singer denounced it.

The power that he has! The intelligence that he has! The influence that he has!

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló instructed legislators to axe an anti-LGBTQ “religious liberty” bill this week just hours after Ricky Martin, pride of the Caribbean island, denounced it in an open letter, NBC News reports.

House Bill 2069 would have allowed government employees to not serve citizens if they felt it went against their religious beliefs. The House of Representatives had voted in favor of the bill, which was filed at Rosselló’s request.

“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above and it encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality,” Martin wrote in his letter. “It does so under a premise that undermines the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of race, sex or belief, and in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.”

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“I am vehemently opposed to the proposed measure imposed upon us under the guise of religious freedom, which degrades us as a society and projects us to the world as a backwards country, unwilling to honor the basic constitutional right of individuality,” Martin continued. “This movement is not representative of the Puerto Rico that we all love, defend and hold so dear. We call on the Senate, the House and Governor Ricardo Rosselló to reject this effort, which is an open door to hatred and discrimination.”

Martin’s letter and related social media posts, published days after the Grammy-winning singer led the 62nd National Puerto Rican Day Parade, motivated other celebrities and politicians to publicly condemn the bill. U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Julián Castro, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders have all opposed the legislation.

Shortly after Martin’s letter was posted, Rosselló asked legislators to shelve HB 2069, writing in a statement that “instead of reaching a consensus on a basis of mutual respect, it provokes the division of our people.”

Rosselló signed an executive order in March banning conversion therapy on minors in Puerto Rico after the House of Representatives refused to vote on a bill that would make the practice illegal. The governor previously said he would only sign HB 2069 if Puerto Rican lawmakers approved a bill banning conversion therapy.

Martin, who played Antonio D’Amico in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, married Jwan Yosef last year. Together they raise twin boys Matteo and Valentino.

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