Mexico Senate votes in favour of nationwide conversion therapy ban

“The eyes of the world are today on this historic advance in human rights, hoping that it will become an international benchmark.”

Flag of Mexico - where the Foreign Ministry issued their first non-binary passport on May 17.
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The Mexico Senate has voted in favour of a nationwide ban on so-called LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, also voting to criminalise carrying out the harmful practice.

The legislative changes were approved by a vote of 69 in favour, two against and 16 abstentions at the Session of the Chamber of Senators on National Coming Out Day, October 11. According to the Citizens Movement political party, the reforms to the Federal Penal Code and Health General Law would see anything used to “impede, restrict, diminish, annul or suppress a person’s sexual orientation, identity or gender expression” prohibited in the country.

“There’s nothing to cure, it is not a disease,” said Citizens Movement Senator Patricia Mercado after the vote. “These are cruel and inhuman treatments that we have to stop in our country because they cause great pain and damage.”

Mercado was one of the first people to propose the reforms in 2018 alongside members of her own party, Morena and the Green Party.

Local LGBTQ+ rights organisation, Yaaj Mexico, welcomed the news, stating: “The eyes of the world are today on this historic advance in human rights, hoping that it will become an international benchmark.”

The group explained that the “main victims are young LGBTQ+ people, causing irreparable damage to their mental health throughout their adult life and in the worst cases, driving them to suicide”.

“For the survivors of these practices who have raised their voices, making the political personal, this legislative advance means the integral reparation of the damage that was once done to them,” Yaaj Mexico added.

12 states across the nation, including Mexico City, have already outlawed conversion therapy, a practice condemned widely by health experts and human rights organisations globally. The bill will now move to the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, where it will be voted on once again before it can become law.

In the Republic of Ireland, a complete ban on LGBTQ+ conversion therapy is yet to be introduced. However, in late September, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman reassured the Seanad that the legislation is a priority for the government.

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