SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 121 Wednesday evening, a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for individuals under 18 years of age.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Andrés Romero (D-Albuquerque). Conversion therapy, aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.
“This discredited practice is not based on medical science. It’s based on dangerous misinformation,” Rep. Romero said. “Tonight, we sent a message to New Mexico kids that being LGBTQ is not a mental disorder and we should not treat it as such.”
House Republicans tried three times to amend the bill to undermine protections for LGBTQ youth, but House Democrats tabled all three amendments.
Children who undergo conversion therapy are more likely to attempt suicide, have depression, or partake in dangerous behavior. The bill includes language that would promote therapy that favors acceptance, support, and understanding for a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, without attempting to change that identity or orientation. Senate Bill 121 passed the House 44-23 and now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.