HAVANA (HPD) — Two former beauty queens, Fabiola Valentin of Puerto Rico and Mariana Valera of Argentina, announced this week that they had secretly married.
The Instagram post sparked celebrations in LGBTQ communities in Latin America, a region that has historically lagged behind on gay rights but has made small steps in recent years.
“After deciding to keep our relationship private, we opened our doors to you on a special day, 10/28/22,” Valentín and Valera said in their announcement on Sunday.
The message includes a video montage of their relationship, including the couple on vacation, in bars and on a beach at sunset. There is then an image of gold and silver balloons with a marriage proposal and the two together after the proposal.
The video concludes with Valentín and Valera dressed in white and kissing outside a court in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Once banned on the island, same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015 in Puerto Rico after the US Supreme Court ruled those bans were unconstitutional. In 2020, new laws went into effect on the island that added protections for the LGBTQ community.
The two women met at the Miss Grand International competition in Thailand in 2020. Since then, they have continued to post together on social media.
The announcement of the marriage was greeted with celebrations on social media, to which the couple responded enthusiastically.
“Thanks for all the love. We are very happy and blessed, ”Valera wrote. “I wish you that the love you are giving us will come back multiplied. Infinite thanks”.