Puerto Rico joins 15 US states and the District of Columbia in banning gay conversion therapy for minors.
On 27 March, Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello signed an executive order banning the therapy.
Via Twitter, Rossello said, “Today we sign an executive order that prohibits conversion or restrictive therapies to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors. These therapies lack a scientific basis and, in addition, cause unnecessary harm and suffering to LGBT+ people.”
Governor Rossello said his motivation was to take a decisive stance against conversion therapy.
“I strive for Puerto Rico to be a society in which everyone, no matter who they love, can be accepted and live without fear of persecution. This includes the most vulnerable in society, our children, who must be supported and loved. Conversion therapy does not benefit anyone in any way, it only causes unimaginable pain and suffering.”
The LGBTIQ rights group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) welcomed the executive order in a statement.
“We commend Governor Rossello for his leadership in issuing this order to protect LGBTQ minors in Puerto Rico,” said HRC Senior Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. Persad added: “The dangerous and debunked practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ not only doesn’t work — it can have life-threatening consequences. This is why it has been condemned by every major medical association in our country.”