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27 Apr, 2024 15:05

Mexico pushes to outlaw sexual conversion therapy

The country has stepped closer to criminalizing practices that seek to change gender identity
Mexico pushes to outlaw sexual conversion therapy

Mexico’s Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country. 

Such treatment is occasionally pursued by families who hope to ‘cure’ or ‘repair’ a loved one who has chosen to pursue an LGBT lifestyle, and has been branded as ‘pseudoscientific’ by gay and trans organizations.

The measure passed by a 77-4 vote margin with 15 abstentions, according to the Senate’s post on X (formerly Twitter).

“The Senate moved (to) sanction therapies that impede or annul a person’s orientation or gender identity,” it stated, adding “There are aggravating factors when the practices are done to minors, older adults and people with disabilities.”

The Senate’s post described conversion therapy as “practices that have incentivized the violation of human rights of the LGBTTTIQ+ community.”

In 2022, Mexico’s Senate passed a conversion therapy ban bill, but the House of Deputies did not approve it.

Citizens Movement Senator Patricia Mercado, who was one of the first to present the proposal in 2018, posted on X at the time: “There’s nothing to cure, it is not a disease. These are cruel and inhuman treatments that we have to stop in our country because they cause great pain and damage.”

Methods applied by proponents of conversion therapy to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity have reportedly ranged from psychological counseling to religious instruction and even electroshock therapy. The practice has generated a backlash in the LGBT community in recent years.

Conversion therapy providers will now face up to five years in prison, with higher sentences for those who subject minors to the practice.

“It is not immediately clear whether Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supports the ban,” according to a report by the Washington Blade, the oldest LGBT newspaper in the United States.

Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Germany, France, and New Zealand are among the countries that ban conversion therapy, according to the Blade. Virginia, California, and DC are reportedly among the US jurisdictions that prohibit the practice for minors.

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