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Mexico City just outlawed traumatising conversion therapy

Lily Wakefield July 25, 2020
mexico city conversion therapy

Mexico City Pride on June 27, 2020. (Ricardo Castelan Cruz / Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty)

Mexico City has become the first jurisdiction in Mexico to outlaw the damaging practice of conversion therapy, in a historic victory for the country’s LGBT+ community.

According to The New York Times, the bill to criminalise conversion therapy, defined by Mexico City regional congress as any practices or treatments which aim to “nullify, hinder, modify or undermine” a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, was passed in a virtual session on Friday, July 24.

There was cross-party support for the bill, and El Pais reported that there were 49 votes in favour of the ban, nine against it and five abstentions.

Those who provide conversion therapy in any form can now be sentenced to up to five years in prison, with those who subject minors to the horrific practice facing even higher sentences.

Mexico City has been leading the way for LGBT+ rights in Mexico, becoming the first region to legalise same-sex marriage in 2009, and now becoming the first to ban conversion therapy.

Activists and the LGBT+ community celebrated the historic bill.

LGBT+ youth organisation Jóvenes LGBT México wrote on Twitter: “Today, one more fight has been consolidated in our city and so has one more chapter in the history of the LGBT+ movement in Mexico.

“I feel very happy to walk hand in hand with all of you. This victory is yours.”

Attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity is often compared to torture and has been linked to higher risks of depression, suicide, and drug addiction.

A UK survey conducted last year found that one in five people who had been through conversion therapy later attempted suicide.

While conversion therapy is completely outlawed in five countries – Germany, Malta, Ecuador, Brazil, and Taiwan – and 20 US states, the horrific practice is still legal in the UK, despite the Tories having pledged to introduce legislation two years ago.

More: ban, bill, conversion therapy, mental health, Mexico City, regional congress, suicide

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