Colorado House passes bill to ban gay cure therapy
The Colorado House of Representatives has passed a bill to ban gay cure therapy.
Lawmakers in the state signed off on a bill that would make Colorado the 16th US state to enact a ban on the discredited practice of performing conversion therapy on minors.
The bill to outlaw the practice, HB1129, passed by 42 votes to 20, in a vote held on Tuesday (February 19). The result was broadly reflective of party lines in the Democratic-controlled chamber, with most Republicans opposing the bill.
Colorado House of Representatives passes gay cure ban in overwhelming vote
Two Republican lawmakers, Reps. Colin Larson and Hugh McKean, sided with Democrats in support of the bill according to House records.
The bill will now head to the Colorado Senate for approval.
Similar bills have cleared the Colorado House in previous years, but were blocked on four occasions in the Republican-controlled Senate.
However, Democrats regained a Senate majority in November 2018’s state elections, meaning the bill now stands a chance of becoming law.
If the bill clears the Senate, it will then head to the desk of Colorado governor Jared Polis, who is gay and a champion of LGBT+ rights.
The vote comes days after the House passed a bill that would allow transgender Coloradans to update the gender marker on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery.
LGBT+ rights campaigners: Gay cure therapy ‘amounts to child abuse’
The progress from the Colorado House was welcomed by LGBT+ rights campaigners.
Human Rights Campaign’s National Field Director Marty Rouse said in a statement: “We thank the Representatives who voted to advance these measures and affirm the equal dignity of all Coloradans — including LGBTQ people.
“No young person should ever be subjected to a practice that amounts to child abuse, and it’s critically important that transgender people have the ability to ensure their legal documents match their identity.
“As we work with local advocates to build a Colorado that is more inclusive and welcoming to all, we urge the Colorado Senate to swiftly pass both of these pro-equality bills.”
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The 15 states with bans on conversion therapy are Connecticut, California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, and New Hampshire, in addition to the District of Columbia.
Colorado has already made history once this year, with Polis becoming the first openly gay man to hold the office of US state governor in January.
Speaking at his inauguration, he said: “There were many brave people over the years who made it possible for someone like me to be standing here, giving a speech like this.
“I am grateful to those before me who struggled for equal rights, who made difficult sacrifices and worked towards a brighter future for our state, our nation and our world.”
Polis previously led the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus in the US House of Representatives.