Colorado becomes 16th state to pass ban on gay cure therapy
Colorado will become the 16th in the US to ban gay cure therapy, after the state’s legislature overwhelmingly backed a bill.
On Friday (April 5), the Colorado House of Representatives gave a final sign-off to HB 1129, which will ban on the discredited practice of performing conversion therapy on minors.
The bill had passed the state Senate on March 25 by a vote of 21-13, while the House of Representatives gave it initial approval in February by a vote of 42-20.
Conversion therapy ban will be signed by gay Colorado governor Jared Polis
After clearing the legislature, the bill will now head to the desk of Colorado governor Jared Polis, who is gay and a champion of LGBT+ rights, to be signed into law.
LGBT+ rights groups have celebrated the victory, which will make the state the 16th in the US to enact a gay cure therapy ban.
One Colorado Executive Director Daniel Ramos said: “The Colorado Legislature has finally taken the significant step in protecting our LGBTQ youth by banning the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.
“Conversion therapy is based on the false claim that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured – a view that has been rejected as scientifically invalid by every major medical and mental health group for decades.
“No young person should ever be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking that who they are is wrong. Mental health care should be ethical and affirming for all people – including LGBTQ young people.
“I applaud the House and the Senate for their bipartisan support of this measure. Protecting our LGBTQ youth is not a partisan issue.”
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.
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LGBT+ campaigners celebrate gay cure therapy ban in Colorado
HRC Field Director Marty Rouse said: “We thank the Colorado General Assembly for their continued support of this crucial pro-equality legislation that provides life-saving protections for young people across the state of Colorado from the dangerous and discredited practice known as ‘conversion therapy.
“Governor Polis has been a trailblazing champion for LGBTQ rights and representation in Colorado and we look forward to him signing these protections into law and his continued leadership on behalf of all Coloradans.”
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.