Conversion therapy ban passes committee for first time in five years, awaits Senate vote 

click to enlarge This will be the first time a conversion therapy ban has made it all the way to the Senate floor. - ANDRE NANTEL / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Andre Nantel / Shutterstock.com
  • This will be the first time a conversion therapy ban has made it all the way to the Senate floor.

On the evening of March 18, LGBTQ advocates across the state of Colorado found reason to celebrate, though one more step remains in the years-long task of attempting to ban conversion therapy for minors statewide.

Over the five legislative sessions in which this ban has been introduced, this is the first time it has passed out of the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs and onto the Senate floor to await a vote. Typically, the bill has died in committee.

Conversion therapy, also called reparative therapy, is the widely discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. If this ban should become law, licensed medical and mental health practitioners would be prohibited from recommending or carrying out such therapy on youths under the age of 18.

“The practice of gay conversion therapy has no scientific basis and has caused long-term developmental and emotional damage to too many young children in Colorado,” said Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg in a press release by One Colorado. “I'm proud to sponsor this legislation for the third time, and am confident this will be the year we finally stop licensed counselors in Colorado from using such harmful tactics on our kids.”

The Senate could vote on this bill as early as today, March 19. If it passes, which it likely will due to the Senate’s current Democrat majority, it will then head to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis to await a signature. As a gay man himself, and a Democrat, Polis appears likely to sign the bill into law.

We will update this space when we learn of the bill’s fate in the Senate.


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