DENVER — This week, Utah and Colorado became the latest states to file bills that would out law conversion therapy.
The Colorado House voted on Tuesday, Feb. 19, on a bill that would outlaw the use of conversion therapy on minors, Attitudes magazine reported.
The bill was passed by 42 votes to 20 with two Republican lawmakers siding with the Democrats and supported the bill.
It will now be sent to the Colorado Senate for approval and if it clears the Senate it will head to Jared Polis, the openly gay Colorado governor.
Colorado’s neighbor Utah has introduced legislation to ban the practice, Gay Star News reported. The website reported that even the Mormon church, which makes up the vast majority of the state’s population, is supporting passage and won’t block the bill. Two Republicans sponsored the bill.
The Human Rights Campaign said in a statement that there is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Research has shown that practice poses health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior. The practice has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Delaware all have laws protecting youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin. Illinois banned conversion therapy i 2017
According to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional if state officials fail to act.