Mexican Senate passes reform to ban and punish so-called 'conversion therapy'
Mexican senators have passed a reform that will ban a practice known as conversion therapy and punish those who carry it out.
Senators voted overwhelmingly in favor of modifying federal law to prohibit and criminalize so-called conversion therapy or any practice meant to restrict, change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender expression.
Under the reform, practitioners can be fined nearly $10,000 and face up to six years in prison. The sanctions can be doubled if the harmful practices are imposed on a person who is under 18, elderly or has a disability.
Sen. Patricia Mercado, who initially proposed the reform measures in 2018, said in speech after the bill passed that the "cruel and inhumane" practices have already done great harm to people in Mexico and need to be outlawed in the country.
The United Nations has called for a global ban on conversion therapy, saying it can amount to torture.
Mexico’s lower house of Congress must now vote on the reform.