‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Passes First Committee

(March 20) – A bill by Reps. Paul Rosenthal and Dafna Michaelson Jenet to ban so-called “conversion therapy” on minors passed the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee today.

“Conversion therapy” is a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or suppressing a person’s gender identity. The practice has been rejected by every mainstream mental health professional association and has been shown to be deeply traumatizing, especially to youth. 

“We have a responsibility to protect Colorado children from the harmful and discredited practice of what they call gay conversion therapy,” said Rep. Rosenthal, D-Denver. “The nation’s leading mental health associations warn against the dangers of this practice and studies have shown that minors being subjected to this therapy run an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse, depression and suicide.”

HB18-1245 prohibits psychiatrists and licensed or registered mental health professionals from attempting “conversion therapy” on patients under 18 years of age.

“It’s been the 21st century for quite awhile now, and it’s time for us to love our children for who they are, not try to turn them into someone they aren’t,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. 

Though every Republican on the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee voted no, today’s 7-6 committee vote sends HB18-1245 to the House floor.

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