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Governor Rosselló signs executive order to prohibit conversion or reparative therapies

Governor Rosselló signs executive order to prohibit conversion or reparative therapies

(March 27, 2019 – La Fortaleza, San Juan) Today, Governor of Puerto Rico
Ricardo Rosselló signed an executive order to prohibit conversion or
reparative therapies to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of
minors.

The chief executive recalled the commitment included in his Government Plan
to prohibit such therapies, due to their of lack scientific basis and,
additionally, for the unnecessary harm and suffering caused to the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual (LGBTT) community.

“I believe in the acceptance and support of any initiative that rejects
discrimination towards the most vulnerable and we declared as public policy
of the Government of Puerto Rico to protect children through the eradication
of these conversion or reparative therapies,” stated the chief executive.

Rosselló added that “today we take a step forward to raise awareness among
the people about this type of practice that causes pain and suffering. Love and
respect should always prevail without distinction of sexual orientation, race,
color, or religion.”

The measure orders the secretaries of the Puerto Rico departments of Health,
Economic Development and Commerce, as well as the administrator of the
Administration of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ASSMCA, for its
Spanish acronym) to establish, as a regulatory requirement, an application to
grant or renew a license for operating health facilities and institutions,
whether public or private.

As a requirement, a certification must be presented to state that the
institution —during the validity of the permit requested at the government
agency—will not provide in its facilities conversion or reparative therapies to
change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.

The chief executive also urged the Puerto Rico Psychologists Examining Board
and the Puerto Rico Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors —as
regulatory bodies of the exercise of psychology and professional counseling in
the Island— to prohibit services for these therapies.

“Our administration has distinguished itself by supporting the most
vulnerable sectors. We established the Advisory Council on LGBTT Issues of
the Governor to implement initiatives that address the needs of this sector of our society and we will continue to comply with the laws and regulations that
protect their rights,” said Rosselló.

Lastly, the governor strongly rejected the discrimination and marginalization
that the LGBTT community is exposed to on a daily basis.
“We are committed to continue promoting initiatives to protect the civil rights
of all people, as well as directing all government action to promote equity and
human equality,” he concluded.

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