The bill just needs to be signed into effect by the pro-LGBTQ governor, Jared Polis.
Colorado is set to become the 16th US state to ban the harmful and discredited practice of conversion ‘therapy’ for minors after both legislative houses backed the ban.
HB 1129 passed the Senate with 21-13 votes, and passed the House of Representatives by 42-20 votes. The bill now just needs to be signed into effect by the state’s governor Jared Polis. Polis made history last year when he was elected as America’s first-ever openly gay governor.
Some cities in Colorado, like Denver, had already banned the practice, but now the law can apply across the state.
Daniel Ramos, the executive director of One Colorado, praised the legislative houses for passing the bill, saying: “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.”
Marty Rouse, the Human Rights Campaign’s field director, also praised the houses, saying: “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.”
If Governor Polis does sign the law, Colorado will join New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire and New York state in having bans on the practice. It will also join areas like Washington DC and Puerto Rico in having bans.
Colorado isn’t the only state with a potential ban on the way, as a bill in Massachusetts also passed both houses and awaits signature from Republican governor Charlie Baker, who has said that he’s “inclined” to support it.
And currently 17 other US states are considering bans on the practice. Those states are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.