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February 13, 2019


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

(Feb. 13) — A bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, and Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, banning the harmful and widely discredited practice of ‘conversion therapy’ on young people passed the House Public Health and Human Services Committee today.

“What this practice does is harm children and falsely make 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.”

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.

“How many more of our kids have to go through this type of dangerous ‘conversion therapy’ that is harming them before we get this bill passed?” said Rep. Esgar. “This is the year that we move forward to protecting Colorado’s kids.”

HB19-1129 includes disciplinary actions for any licensees with their licensing board if conversion therapy is practiced on a youth. 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 8-3 with JeffCo Republican Colin Larson joining Democrats in support of the bill. The bill now heads to the House floor. The City and County of Denver already passed a ban on conversion therapy for minors, but this bill would apply statewide.

ATTACHED: Headshot of Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo and Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City

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