South US nation believes that transgenderism is mental illness


(MENAFN) The Peruvian government's recent decision to officially categorize transgender and non-binary individuals as "mentally ill" has sparked widespread concern and condemnation from LGBTQ advocates within the conservative South American nation. President Dina Boluarte approved the revision in a decree, defining various aspects of transgender identity, including 'transsexualism' and 'gender identity disorder in children,' as mental illnesses. The decree also encompasses terms such as 'dual-role transvestism' and 'other gender-identity disorders,' raising fears of increased stigmatization and potential threats to the civil liberties of LGBTQ citizens.

The Peruvian Health Ministry
has sought to clarify the reclassification, stating that it was enacted to ensure comprehensive coverage of mental health services under the country's Essentials Health Insurance Plan. Despite assurances that the revised language would not result in coercive measures such as conversion therapy, LGBTQ activists remain deeply concerned about the implications of labeling transgender individuals as mentally ill.

President Boluarte, a former member of the Marxist-Leninist Free Peru political party, assumed office in December 2022 as Peru's first female president. Her administration has prioritized social conservatism, aligning with the views of Peru's conservative congressional majority. This ideological shift has been reflected in legislative actions, including the removal of gender ideology and references to gender equality from school textbooks.

In response to the government's decision, LGBTQ activists have sounded the alarm, with Jheinser Pacaya, director of OutFest Peru, condemning the move as regressive and discriminatory. Pacaya emphasized the significance of the LGBTQ rights movement, highlighting the struggle for decriminalizing homosexuality and stressing the urgent need for the repeal of the decree categorizing transgender identity as a mental illness.

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