Portugal prohibits forced sexual conversion against the LGTBIQ+ population

Portugal prohibits forced sexual conversion against the LGTBIQ+ population Portugal prohibits forced sexual conversion against the LGTBIQ+ population

Sexual conversion practices will be punished in Portugal with up to five years in prison

Portugal will sanction as of March 1 the practices of forced sexual conversion against people from the LGTBIQ+ group, by considering as a crime any act that aims to alter, limit or repress gender orientation, identity or expression. This law, proposed by the Left Block, Free (left), the animalist PAN and Socialist Party, was approved in December by the Portuguese Parliament.

This is reflected by the law number 15/2024 published this Monday in the Diario de la República (the official Portuguese bulletin), which contemplates prison sentences of 3 years in prison for anyone who subjects another person to actions to forcibly modify their sexual orientation, either through surgical interventions, medications or psychological therapies.

Prison sentences can reach 5 years whether surgical or pharmacological treatments involve an irreversible change in the victim's body and sexual characteristics. Furthermore, the sanctions can be aggravated in the event that there is a younger involved, since, apart from the prison punishment, a possible professional disqualification is included for whoever subjects that child or adolescent to a forced conversion.

Awareness campaign in Portugal

Portugal prohibits forced sexual conversion against the LGTBIQ+ populationThe approval of the law implies a study to understand the extent of this type of practices, under what conditions they are carried out and what consequences they have for the victims. Likewise, a awareness campaign on "invalidity" of this "therapies", considering that they violate the human rights related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

During the process of parliamentary debate of the different law proposals, the College of Physicians issued a statement in which he criticized this type of therapy for “its effectiveness has not been proven nor does it respect the ethical and deontological standards of medical practice".

The organization highlights that “Diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity represents normal expressions, which cannot be considered diseases.”. The norm clarifies that, on the other hand, the procedures that are applied are not punishable “in a context of identity self-determination and gender expression.

22% of respondents stated that they had undergone conversion practices

A study published last July by Ispa-University Institute, led by the researcher Pedro Alexandre Costa, surveyed 424 people LGTBIQ + en Portugal between 2021 and 2023: Of those surveyed, 91 (the 22%) stated that he had been subjected to conversion practices in a religious, medical and psychotherapeutic context.

52% of those people felt forced to start the conversion process and 35% said they were pressured. The youngest person to undergo such a process was 12 years old, while the age of the majority ranged between 14 and 19.

Portugal prohibits forced sexual conversion against the LGTBIQ+ population

Sources: Swissinfo

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