Thursday, June 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Peru: Transgender people now classified as “mentally ill”

Published 19 May 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Peru has recently introduced a new law that classifies large parts of the trans and LGBTQ community as “mentally ill”.

Peru’s government has endorsed a high-profile law that categorizes trans and ‘intersex’ people as mentally ill. The recent signing of the law by President Dina Boluarte has sparked reactions in the country and internationally.

The decision comes after the Peruvian Ministry of Health justified the law as a way to “guarantee access to psychiatric care for all social groups”.

According to the decree, signed by Peru’s President Dina Boluarte, “transsexualism” and “gender identity disorders in children” are now classified as mental illnesses in Peru.

Furthermore, “double role transvestitism”, “fetishistic transvestitism” and “other gender identity disorders” are also classified as mental illnesses.

“Torture under international law”

The announcement has been met with criticism and concern, especially from activist and lobby groups in the LGBT community, who point to the increasing reported level of violence against transgender people in the country.

Jorge Apolaya, spokesperson for the Lima Pride March Collective, is one of the critics.

– The law opens the door to conversion therapies, as well as the use of hormones to correct homosexuality. These are treatments that are considered torture under international law, says Apolaya, who says the standards on which the law is based “are outdated”.

This is not the only recent high-profile decision by the Peruvian government. It recently banned the inclusion of references to gender equality in the country’s school textbooks. Critics say this affects the ability to teach about, and prevent, violence against women.

The legislation contradicts World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, which state that “transsexuality is not a disease but part of sexual orientation”.

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