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Lawmaker seeks to end gay conversion therapy in Yucatán

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Felipe Cervera Hernández of the PRI party has proposed an end to anti-gay conversion therapy in Yucatán. Photo: Courtesy

An initiative presented before Yucatán state lawmakers would outlaw conversion therapy that attempts to turn gay people straight. Punishment includes jail time and fines, under the measure.

PRI legislator Felipe Cervera Hernández presented the initiative with a draft decree to reform the state penal code on conversion therapy.

The measure denounced discrimination, violence and repression against homosexual, transsexual, transgender and bisexual people. Despite a push from the Supreme Court, local lawmakers still refuse to allow same-sex marriage, and firing an employee for being gay is still legal.

“There are cases of people, most of the time minors, who due to their sexual identity have been deprived of their liberty or subjected to acts of torture and conversion therapy, also receiving medicines, with the purpose of ‘reprogramming’ their physical or psychological self-determination, thus violating their fundamental rights,” said Cervera Hernández.

He objected to treating same-sex attraction or gender identity issues as a disorder or disease. Such practices only stigmatize the LGBTQI community, Cervera Hernández said.

The measure would set financial penalties against people who set out to “convert” gay or transgender people, particularly youths. It also establishes up to three years in prison. Higher penalties if a minor was physically or emotionally damaged from attempted therapy.

This initiative by the PRI was joined by the PAN member Kathia Bolio Pinelo, the non-party legislators Silvia López Escoffié and Milagros Romero Bastarrachea, as well as the legislator Luis María Aguilar Castillo from Nueva Alianza.

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