Catholic Bishop in Puerto Rico Says Proposed Bill to Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ Criminalizes Church Teachings and Harms Children

Bishop Fernández Torres (Diocese of Arecibo)

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, warned of a dangerous new attempt to criminalize what is often called conversion therapy, and with it, virtually all expression of Catholic teaching on sexuality.

Bishop Fernández Torres condemned P.S. 184, a bill proposed in Puerto Rico’s far-left Senate to ban therapies that could “change the sexual orientation or gender identity in an individual.”

P.S. 184, which mirrors recent efforts in CanadaAustralia, and the U.S., targets “any effort or treatment” that would fall under a loose definition “conversion” or “reparative” therapy.

Criminalized activities include “any effort or treatment aimed at changing bodily behavior, expressions or sexual orientation of an individual, as well as eliminate or reduce romantic or sexual attractions or feelings towards individuals of the same gender.”

The restrictions in P.S. 184 nevertheless would not apply to a practice that “provides acceptance” or facilitates “exploration” of LGBT identities.

“In this sense, the only possible action allowed by law will be to support the child to live a sexual orientation or gender identity different from the natural one,” Bishop Fernández Torres said. “As written, health professionals should only take action towards affirmation of homosexuality or transgenderism in kids, even if children only were to experience temporary confusion.”

The bill would enforce the ban with penalties not just for mental health professionals, but for parents, categorizing “conversion therapy” as “abuse” alongside child sex abuse and human trafficking.

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SOURCE: Lifesite News, Raymond Wolfe

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