ADDED ON: 04/30/2019

Puerto Rico activists criticize religious freedom, conversion therapy bills

04/26/2019 | Washington Blade

Activists in Puerto Rico have sharply criticized two bills they say will allow anti-LGBT discrimination. Governor Ricardo Rosselló on Tuesday at a press conference that took place at his official residence in San Juan announced the introduction of Senate Bill 1253, which would “clarify certain religious freedom principles” in Puerto Rico, and Senate Bill 1254, which would ban so-called conversion therapy in the U.S. commonwealth. Johanne Vélez García, president of the governor’s Advisory Council on LGBTT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender) Issues and LGBTT Community Center of Puerto Rico Executive Director Cecilia La Luz, who is also a member of the council, were among those who stood alongside Rosselló as he discussed the measures. “We are introducing consensus bills, together with religious leaders and those from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender (LGBTT) community, to establish religious freedom guidelines and prohibit conversion therapy in law,” said Rosselló. “This represents an important victory for both communities.”

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