Colorado House passes bill to ban ‘ex-gay’ therapy for minors
The Colorado House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban therapy to ‘cure’ homosexuality in minors.
The state congress is currently discussing HB 15-1175, which states: “The bill prohibits a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry and a licensed or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age.
“A licensee who engages in these efforts is subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate licensing board.
“Conversion therapy means efforts that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation, including efforts to change behaviours.”
The bill, which is sponsored by Democrat Paul Rosenthal, passed through the House by a vote of 35-29, largely along party lines with Democrats in favour and Republicans against.
One Republican, Dan Thurlow, voted with the Democrats in favour of the bill, while another, Timothy Dore, abstained.
Despite passing the key vote in the House, it will now head to the state’s Republican-controlled Senate, where it is likely to face a significant challenge.
However, the Republicans in the Senate have a majority of just 1 – meaning that the bill could pass if others are willing to follow Thurlow’s lead and rebel.
Republican Brian DelGrosso warned the bill could have ‘unintended consequences’ when a youth is confused about their sexuality, saying: “What I’m worried about is if that line is kind of blurred, that me as the counsellor, I would be scared to ever go down that road and have that conversation.”