Conversion Therapy Ban on Minors Passes House, Moves to Senate

April 5, 2018

This morning, the Colorado House of Representatives passed House Bill 1245 on a bipartisan 36-26 vote. If signed into law, the bill would ban the harmful, discredited practice of conversion therapy on minors by a licensed professional. One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, released the following statement from Executive Director Daniel Ramos in reaction to the bill’s passage:

“No young person should ever be shamed by a state-licensed mental health professional into thinking who they are is wrong. Unfortunately, as we heard when this bill was up in committee, too many young LGBTQ Coloradans have sought help from licensed professionals so they can find their truth, only to be subjected to dangerous and discredited practices that use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force them to change who they are. More and more states are standing with LGBTQ youth by banning the harmful, discredited practice of conversion therapy on minors, and it is time for Colorado to do the same,” said Ramos.

“I applaud the House for their bipartisan support of this measure. It is now time for the Senate to do the same, and give this bill a fair hearing. It is my sincere hope that, with this being the fourth time this measure has been introduced in the Colorado legislature, this will be the year Colorado bans a practice on minors that is based on the false claim that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured. They are born perfect, and they deserve their state’s support,” Ramos continued.

Sponsored by Representatives Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, and Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, and Senators Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, this bill would ban a state-licensed mental health care provider from engaging in the discredited, harmful practice conversion therapy on a patient under eighteen years of age in order to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A recent study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that tens of thousands of teens between ages of 13-17 will be subjected to conversion therapy in the coming years.