Anti-Transgender Bill That Will Send Doctors to Prison Introduced in Colorado State House

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements in response to the introduction of House Bill 20-1114: Protection of Minors from Mutilation and Sterilization: 

“This is one of the most extreme and direct attacks on transgender youth in Colorado’s history. This bill overlooks best practices backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and criminalizes healthcare professionals for providing affirming, life-saving care to some of our most vulnerable young people. Transgender youth are five times more likely to contemplate suicide and this bill puts the lives and wellbeing of transgender youth at risk. Medical care for transgender youth should be determined by healthcare professionals, not politicians.
– Daniel Ramos, Executive Director, One Colorado

“It’s reprehensible that a transphobic bill like HB20-1114 would even be drafted – a bill that would deny any person, regardless of their age, the right to affirming healthcare.”
– Representative Alex Valdez (D-Denver), chair of the LGBTQ Caucus

“Our government would arrest and imprison doctors for up to 12 years simply for following their Hippocratic Oath to care for their patients and provide best practice medical care to their patients. Medical professionals and patients, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of an individual in accordance with the current medical best practices.”
– Dr. Representative Yadira Caraveo, (D-Adams)

Doctors would be forced to violate existing standards of medical care for transgender patients—standards that are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading medical authorities.

Best practice medical care for transgender youth simply delays puberty until they are old enough to make their own decisions about their lived gender. This bill aims to take away young people’s choices and attempts to prevent them from fulfilling their right to live as the gender they know they are inside. Denying best practice medical care and support to transgender youth can be life-threatening. It has been shown to contribute to depression, social isolation, self-hatred, risk of self-harm, suicidal behavior, and more. 

Research shows that transgender youth whose families support their gender identity have a 52% decrease in suicidal thoughts, a 48% decrease in suicide attempts, and significant increases in self-esteem and general health. 

On the opening day of the second regular session of the 72nd Colorado General Assembly, two additional bills were introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives that will cause serious harm to the LGBTQ community if enacted. House Bills 20-1033 and 20-1063 roll back protections for LGBTQ Coloradans, including LGBTQ youth, in the areas of parental abuse, adoption and foster care, healthcare, housing, employment, and public spaces.

The House prime sponsor for HB20-1114 is Rep. Shane Sandridge (R-El Paso County) with Rep. Mark Baisley (R-Roxborough Park), Rep. Rod Bockenfeld (R-Watkins), Rep. Tim Geitner (R-Falcon), Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R-Severance), Rep. Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs), Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells), Rep. Kim Ransom (R-Douglas County), Rep. Janice Rich (R-Grand Junction), Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone), Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta), Rep. Perry Will (R-New Castle), Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) as co-sponsors.