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  • "Conversion therapy does not benefit anyone in any way, it only causes unimaginable pain and suffering,” said the Puerto Rican official. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 March 2019
Opinion

"I strive for Puerto Rico to be a society in which everyone, no matter who they love, can be accepted and live without fear," Governor Ricardo Rossello said.

Puerto Rico is banning gay-conversion therapy for minors, Governor Ricardo Rossello said Wednesday, announcing his plans to sign an executive order after being blocked by the House of Representatives.

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"Conversion therapy does not benefit anyone in any way, it only causes unimaginable pain and suffering,” said the Puerto Rican official.

“As a father, as a scientist, and as governor of everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment due to their gender identity or love life is not only absurd, but is harmful to so many children and youths who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Rossello said.

“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," he said.

The order will be signed within the following days, local media sources say.

From Twitter, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz wrote,”Conversion therapies are inhumane and seek to deprive human beings of their dignity. Love is love. It is a simple concept. The compatriots of the LGBT+ community love, period. And love always, always wins over hate. ALWAYS.”

California Senator Kamala Devi Harris also cheered the governor’s decision, tweeting, “So-called conversion therapy is a horrifying and abusive practice. I applaud Puerto Rico's Governor @ricardorossello for banning it. It's time Congress passed legislation I've cosponsored to ban it nationwide.”

Although conversion therapy has been discredited by many, only 15 of the 50 U.S. states have moved to ban the practice indefinitely. Rossello’s decision puts Puerto Rico on the map as one of the most progressive locations not only in the U.S,, but in the Caribbean as well.

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