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Colorado Senate sends conversion therapy ban for minors to 'kill committee' 

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UPDATE: Republicans in the Colorado Senate have sent HB18-1245, which would ban conversion therapy for minors, to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee — where bills go to die. This "kill committee" will keep the bill from the Senate floor, meaning we can give up on our hope for a statewide ban on conversion therapy in 2018.

As this scenario has played out multiple years in a row, it's time to face facts: We likely won't see this bill pass until Democrats control the Senate. Currently, Republicans have the majority by one vote, which is enough to bury bills that don't adhere to Republican agendas. (Of course, the House managed to muster bi-partisan support for this one. What the hell, Senate?) But, well, fifth time's the charm, especially if Democrats take the majority in the November election.

—ORIGINAL POST 4:21 P.M. THURS., APRIL 5, 2018—

We’re almost there. Again. On Thursday, April 5, the Colorado House of Representatives voted to pass HB18-1245, a bill that would ban conversion therapy for minors.

Conversion therapy, or reparative therapy — the practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual or gender identity through therapy, sometimes using treatments as harsh as electroshock — has been widely denounced as not only ineffective, but dangerous. Entities such as the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have all come out in opposition to conversion therapy, citing the negative mental and physical effects of the practice on LGBTQ youth, including depression, substance abuse and suicidal behavior.

And yet, as we have previously reported, the practice remains legal in 45 states.

Should this ban pass in the state Senate, it would ensure that no one under the age of 18 could be subject to the humiliation, shame and heartache of undergoing conversion therapy.

In a press release praising the vote, Xavier Persad, legislative counsel of national civil rights organization the Human Rights Campaign, said: “No child should be subjected to this dangerous and debunked practice condemned by every major medical and mental health organization. Right now, it’s incredibly important that fair-minded voices across the state of Colorado speak out and demand the Senate pass this crucially important legislation. Young LGBTQ Coloradans deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy.”

Republicans hold a small majority in the Senate, and have shut down bills to ban conversion therapy in the past. Those who wish to voice support for the bill can contact their representatives before the vote that will help determine the future of LGBTQ youth across Colorado.

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