New Mexico votes to ban gay conversion therapy thanks to gay activist’s campaign
A gay activist and politician just convinced a state senate to outlaw gay conversion therapy.
The senate voted to ban the process by a huge margin of 32-6.
LGBT rights campaigner and senator, Jacob Candelaria, put the measure forward to the New Mexico state senate.
The Democrat, who represents Albuquerque, convinced politicians to pass the measure in a landmark vote.
It now faces a second vote in the House of Representatives.
The House is controlled by Democrats, and so it looks likely the bill will be passed, making gay conversion therapy a crime in the state.
He said ahead of the vote: “When you’re a young Hispanic Catholic kid growing up in Albuquerque and folks use some horrible words to describe you, both to your face and behind your back … that hurts.
“That is abuse. And I hope we don’t adopt the assumption that the only form of abuse is physical abuse.”
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Malta became the first place in Europe to completely ban gay conversion therapy recently, despite not yet having marriage equality.
Conversion therapy has already been banned in California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington DC.
Gay conversion therapy is not illegal in the UK, but any medical professional found practicing it would be struck off by their professional body
Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director with Human Rights Campaign, welcome the New Mexico vote: “No child should ever be subjected to the incredibly dangerous practice of so-called conversion therapy.
“This crucially important legislation will help protect LGBTQ youth in New Mexico from a pseudoscience denounced by every mainstream medical and mental health association.
“For the sake of some of the state’s most vulnerable youth, the New Mexico House of Representatives should quickly pass this legislation and help end this barbaric form of child abuse.”