April 1, 2021
For immediate release
Temple Beth Shalom, Reform Jewish Congregation of Puerto Rico, registers its firm support of Puerto Rico Senate Bill 184 which would make illegal the practice of so-called “conversion therapies.” Our position reflects:
1) the fact that our tradition holds that each human is made “b’tzelem Elohim”, in the divine image. As such, the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities is something to be celebrated and affirmed, not a condition to be treated1, and
2) the fact that for nearly 50 years, the psychological and psychiatric professional communities have officially recognized that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. LGBTTQ+ youth are particularly at risk of harm by so-called “conversion therapies” including damage to self-esteem and elevated suicidal risk.2,3 As Jews, the value of “p’kuach nefesh”, saving a life, supersedes all.