One Colorado Statement on Colorado House Passage of Prohibition on Conversion Therapy

March 7, 2017

One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statement from Executive Director Daniel Ramos on the passage of House Bill 1156 out of the Colorado House Representatives by a 38-27 vote with bipartisan support.

House Bill 1156 will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in Colorado from discredited and dangerous efforts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is extremely harmful to the well-being of young people.

“Every mainstream mental and medical professional association in the country has discounted conversion therapy. In Colorado, many major behavioral and mental health organizations — including the Colorado Psychological Association, the Colorado Psychiatric Society, the Colorado Counseling Association, Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, Mental Health Colorado, and the National Association of Social Workers – Colorado Chapter — support HB-1156.

“These harmful practices use rejection, shame, and psychological abuse to force young people to try to change who they are. Unfortunately, many young people are coerced and subjected to conversion therapy, which puts them at increased risk for depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

“No young person should ever be shamed by a mental health professional into thinking that who they are or who they love is wrong. As this bill moves over to the Colorado Senate, we hope that Republican leadership will give the bill a fair committee assignment and hearing.”