House Approves ‘conversion therapy’ Ban on Minors

This is the fifth time the bill has been brought forward at state legislature

(Feb. 15) — A bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, and Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo banning the harmful and widely discredited practice of ‘conversion therapy’ on young people had final passage on the House floor today.

“We are talking about the lives of kids. This is a ‘therapy’ that has been proven to be dangerous and harmful. We have to start supporting our kids regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. They deserve so much better than this,” said Rep. Daneya Esgar, co-chair of the LGBTQ caucus.

The bill protects our LGBTQ youth in Colorado from a dangerous and discredited practice that is aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This bill is about allowing Coloradans to be their authentic selves. This dangerous practice harms children and falsely makes them believe that something is wrong with them through the use of shame, rejection and psychological abuse,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet. “We need to put an end to a practice that makes these youths six times more likely to have depression and eight times more likely to attempt suicide.”

HB19-1129 includes disciplinary actions for any licensees with their licensing board if conversion therapy is practiced on young person. The bill is aimed at state-licensed medical and mental health practitioners who falsely claim that being gay, bisexual or transgender is a mental illness.

The American Psychological Association found that the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy on young people makes them three times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, six times more likely to fall into depression, and eight times more likely to attempt suicide.

This is the fifth time this bill is being introduced at the legislature and Rep. Michaelson Jenet’s second time bringing it forward. If passed, this bill would make Colorado the 16th state to pass a conversion therapy ban on minors.

The bipartisan bill passed with a vote of 42-20 and now heads to the Senate.

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