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New Mexico just became the latest state to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors

Joseph McCormick April 7, 2017

The Republican Governor of New Mexico has signed a bill into law which bans gay ‘cure’, or ‘conversion’ therapy for minors.

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 of 32-6, earlier this year. It later went to the state House and passed.

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.”

Of the victory, Candelaria added: “Today’s historic action by Governor Martinez confirms that our shared commitment to protecting all children from abuse transcends party labels and ideological differences.

“In New Mexico, we value and celebrate every child for who they are. I want to thank Governor Martinez for having the courage to stand up for the simple truth that every LGBTQ kid in New Mexico is born perfect. I also want to thank the victims of conversion ‘therapy’ who came forward to support this bill. Their stories did not fall on deaf ears. They turned their suffering into a force for good, and because of them, and for them, we have made history.”

“This is an incredible victory for LGBTQ youth in New Mexico,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “No child should be subjected to this dangerous practice that amounts to nothing more than child abuse. By signing this crucially important legislation into law, Governor Martinez is standing up for vulnerable youth who deserve to be loved and supported for who they are.”

“As a survivor of conversion therapy that happened right here in my home state of New Mexico, it’s a very special day to see this barbaric and dangerous practice banned in the place that I grew up and call home,” said Equality New Mexico Executive Director Amber Royster. “My hope is that parents and families everywhere will think twice before seeking to change their LGBTQ child or loved one, and now we have the legal mechanism to ensure it doesn’t happen at the hands of licensed practitioners in New Mexico.”

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.”

More: Americas, conversion, Gay, Mexico, South America

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