San Juan's Mayor Explains How She Got On Board With Same-Sex Marriage

Carmen Yulín Cruz recalls the moment that changed her outlook on LGBTQ rights more than a decade go.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz is profiled on this week’s episode of the PBS series “Breaking Big,” where she discusses how she overcame her initial aversion to marriage equality.

“Twelve years ago, I wasn’t up for ‘egalitarian’ marriage,” Cruz tells host Carlos Watson in an exclusive clip from the episode, which can be viewed above. “Then I met this gay couple that had been together more than I had been together with my three husbands put into one.”

She continues, “One of them looked at me and said, ‘Why do you think you’re better than me? Why do you think I shouldn’t be able to get married?’ And I had no answer.”

“They changed me,” she said.

The segment is featured in Friday’s episode of “Breaking Big,” which also explores how Cruz dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017.

The mayor, elected in 2012, has been prominently featured in the news this week after she fired back at President Donald Trump for his false claim that the hurricane’s death toll had been grossly inflated.

The first same-sex marriages took place in Puerto Rico following the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on marriage equality. The legality of those unions, however, was briefly thrown into question in March 2016 after a federal judge ruled that the Supreme Court decision didn’t apply to the island, because it’s an unincorporated territory and not a U.S. state.

A month after that, marriage equality in Puerto Rico was restored when the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that judge’s March ruling and declared the island’s earlier ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

PBS’ “Breaking Big” highlights some of the world’s most influential people as they recount their “most difficult, dramatic and serendipitous turning points.”

Earlier episodes have featured country singer Jason Aldean, author Roxane Gay, and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.

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