By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rico Psychological Association, through its Sex Diversity, Gender and Sexual Orientation Committee, strongly rejected a bill that they say would prevent same-sex couples from adopting.
Penned by New Progressive Party Rep. Jorge Navarro Suárez, House Bill 1982 grants adoption agencies immunity from civil suits if they decide against allowing same-sex couples to adopt because of religious reasons. The bill seeks to protect religious organizations but critics say it would lead to the discrimination against same-sex couples. Gay activist Pedro Julio Serrano denounced the bill as one that would legalize discrimination against same-sex couples by stopping them from adopting.
“This bill not only violates the fundamental principles of equity and non-discrimination but constitutes a severe attack against the human and legal rights of the LGBTQIA+ community,” the association said.
The proposal undermines the progress made in building a more inclusive and respectful diversity in society, the professional organization said.
“We highlight the attack against children and youth, by limiting their possibility of having a safe home where they can develop comprehensively,” the association said. “Restricting access to adoption based on discriminatory criteria puts at risk the fundamental right of every child to live in a stable and loving environment.”
Given the election year that has just begun, the organization said it was especially concerned that there is political opportunism behind the initiative, which they said appears designed to seek electoral support from the fundamentalist religious sector.
“Furthermore, given the opportunity to build a legislative history that supports the comprehensive well-being of our Nation, it is worrying that Rep. Navarro opts instead to make proposals that encourage and promote discrimination and perpetuate stigmas,” the organization said.
“The Puerto Rico Psychological Association urges ethical reflection and the inclusion of diversity in legislative decision-making,” the group said. “We advocate for policies that promote equity, respect and the protection of the human rights of citizens, especially guaranteeing the well-being of childhood and youth in the possibility of having a safe home.”
“We call on Puerto Rican society and political leaders to reject House Bill 1982,” the association added. “May we work for a Country where diversity is celebrated and where children and youth enjoy equal opportunities, including the right to belong to diverse families.”