Mexico law threatens fundamental freedoms

A proposed national ban on “conversion therapy” in Mexico, similar to that in Victoria and other Australian jurisdictions, has prompted significant concern and opposition from over 170 family and civil groups who are concerned about the reach of the laws and their impact on human rights. They are concerned that the “extremely subjective and ambiguous” language used in the laws could result in a “regime of terror” against healthcare workers and impinge on fundamental freedoms.

The organisations, led by the National Front for the Family and the Citizens’ Initiative for Life and Family, have voiced their concerns in a letter to the leaders of political parties in Mexico's lower Chamber of Deputies. The bill stipulates harsh penalties, including up to six years in prison and fines exceeding 207,000 Mexican pesos, for anyone found guilty of hindering or suppressing a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. The penalties could double if minors are involved.

Passed by the Mexican Senate last October, the Bill is currently being debated in the lower chamber. The bill passed in the Senate with 69 Senators voting in favour, two against, and 16 abstaining.

Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the National Front for the Family of Mexico, has called the potential law “an embarrassment” and “completely nonsensical”, alleging it violates rights to healthcare, free speech, religious freedom, and academic freedom. Marcial Padilla, director of the Mexican platform ConParticipación, fears the law could lead to a “witch hunt” against parents and psychologists.

In a related development in Mexico, two leaders, Mexican Congressman Gabriel Quadri and Civil Society Leader Rodrigo Iván Cortés, are facing legal challenges for expressing their views on transgender ideology.

Both Quadri and Cortés have been accused and convicted of “gender-based political violence” for their social media comments about a trans-identifying lawmaker.

Cortés was charged following his posts on social media where he criticised a bill by Salma Luévano, a male Mexican congressional representative who identifies as a woman. The bill proposed categorising Christian teachings on sexuality as “hate speech.” Cortés was convicted for "misgendering" Luévano and for alleged digital, symbolic, psychological, and sexual violence.

Quadri faces similar accusations for his opposition to trans-identifying men taking seats in Congress designated for biological women. He has been labelled as a “trans oppressor,” affecting his political career.

ADF International’s Director of advocacy for Latin America and the Caribbean Tomás Henríquez warned of the need to remain vigilant about freedom of expression and religion:

“The chilling effect is real … And an important part of our work is trying to prevent that chilling effect from taking hold so that individuals, families will be able to speak out and shape the culture in the way that they would want to shape it, as opposed to just being victims of somebody else shaping it for them.”

Here in Australia, laws to ban ‘conversion therapy’ practices are steadily being introduced around the country, with laws now in place in Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.  Proposed conversion therapy laws are also currently before the New South Wales parliament. Far from protecting the Australian community, these laws prioritise controversial ideology and marginalise a large part of the Australian community, threatening human rights and free speech.

Truth is the first casualty in the culture wars that are currently being waged across the world.

The rights to freedom of religious belief and freedom of expression are being suppressed by LGBT ideology, with these laws deliberately targeting Christian teaching on sexuality and gender.