New Mexico has joined a growing list of
states prohibiting therapies that attempt to alter the sexual
orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.
The measure cleared the House in March
and the Senate in February.
Governor Susana Martinez, who became a
Republican in 1995, signed the bill into law on Friday.
“I've spent my career fighting for
kids, both as a prosecutor and as governor,” Martinez said in a
message to the Legislature. “It is for this reason that I sign
Senate Bill 121, which bans certain practices that have been shown to
cause harm to children.”
“I do not lightly enact legislation
that makes government a party to the medical care decision-making of
a parent and child. Yet, at the same time, numerous reputable
medical organizations like the American Psychological Association
have rebuked this practice, stating it may lead to depression,
anxiety, poor self-esteem, self-hatred, substance abuse, and
And in a shrug to opponents of the bill
who argued it would trample religious freedom, Martinez added that
the measure does not “prohibit religious organizations from freely
practicing their religion.”
Four years ago, New Jersey became the
second state after California to enact such a law. Illinois, Oregon,
Vermont and the District of Columbia have passed similar bans, while
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last year issued an executive order
that protects youth from such therapies. Several cities, including
Florida and Columbus,
Ohio, have recently enacted similar measures.
York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes action to prevent “ex-gay” therapy