Mexico’s senate has voted to ban all conversion therapy that aims to alter sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression – putting the UK to shame.
On Tuesday (11 October), 69 lawmakers voted for the bill, with two against and 16 abstentions. It will now head to Mexico’s chamber of deputies for a final vote.
The vote has been years in the making, with the bill first introduced by senators from the parties Citizen Movement, Morena and the Green Party in October 2018.
LGBTQ+ human rights organisation Yaaj Mexico said in a press release: “The eyes of the world are today on this historic advance in human rights, hoping that it will become an international benchmark.”
The group said that conversion therapy’s “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 it means the integral reparation of the damage that was once done to them.”
In its press release, Yaaj noted that if the bill passes in the chamber of deputies, Mexico would join countries around the world in legislating against the abhorrent practice, including Germany, Malta, Canada, Australia and Ecuador.
One country notably not mentioned was the UK.
The Conservative Party had been promising a UK conversion therapy ban since 2018, and last year finally produced a consultation document.
However, the consultation was littered with red flags, comparing affirmative medical treatment for trans kids to conversion therapy, providing religious exemptions, and even stating that adults could freely consent to conversion therapy.
The proposals for UK legislation were made worse this year when it was announced a ban would only cover sexual orientation and not gender identity.
On the other hand, Scotland has broken away from the Tories’ archaic stance, producing its own report from a government expert advisory group.
The comprehensive report was welcomed by the LGBTQ+ community, centering survivors in all areas, and laying out key principles for legislating against conversion therapy.
These included a future ban which must cover any treatment, practice or effort that aims to change, suppress or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, expression of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, and providing specific guidance on the experiences of LGBTQ+ people of colour – and survivors from minority ethnic faith groups.