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Peru’s government has classified LGBTQ+ people as mentally ill, for controversial reasons

Summarised by Centrist

Peru’s government has officially classified transgender, nonbinary and intersex people as “mentally ill.” 

The country’s Ministry of Health says the move is so that public health services could “guarantee full coverage of medical attention for mental health” for LGBTQ+ people who need it. 

Language in the Essentials Health Insurance Plan was officially altered by the Peruvian government, on May 15, this year, to say “ego-dystonic sexual orientation” is a mental health condition. 

Peru’s Ministry of Health claims the policy change is to enable healthcare coverage for “transsexual people and people with gender identity disorders,” particularly in private clinics. 

Before the latest move, lawmakers had changed references to gender equality in school textbooks following protests over the texts encouraging young people to have freedom to choose sexual orientation/gender. 

LGBTQ rights are reported to have been under sustained assault in Peru, in recent years, with high levels of transphobic violence.

According to Human Rights Watch, who call the move “bigoted”, the decree employs obsolete classifications related to gender identity and sexual orientation. 

They cite the World Health Organization (WHO), which in 2019, declared its global manual of diagnosis would no longer refer to transgenderism as a mental disorder. 
Read more over at The Daily Telegraph and Human Rights Watch

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