One Colorado’s Statement on Republicans in Colorado State Senate Vote Down a Ban on Conversion Therapy for LGBT Minors

Today, Senate leadership once again killed a bill that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people by banning conversion therapy – the discredited practice that aims to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Coloradans and their families, released the following statement from Executive Director Dave Montez on the defeat of this bill on a party-line vote.

“Today the Republicans on the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee had another chance to do the right thing for young LGBT Coloradans. Despite the fact all of Colorado’s leading mental health organizations reject the practice of conversion therapy, the Republican members of the committee chose to disregard the science and testimony of those who came to testify in support of the ban. Few practices have hurt LGBT people more than this so-called therapy.

“LGBT young people who undergo conversion therapy are at risk of long-term depression, guilt, rejection, and are at a heightened risk for suicide. When these are the known side effects of this dangerous practice, it is far past time for it to be banned in our state. We want to thank State Senators Aguilar and Donovan for their votes today in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people in Colorado.

“The conversion therapy ban did not receive a fair hearing today, just like it did not last year – and just like every bill that would improve the lives of LGBT Coloradans has not since 2014. It is unfortunate that Republican leadership in the State Senate is more concerned with placating the far-right fringe of their party than doing the right thing by LGBT Coloradans and their families.

“While we are disappointed in the committee’s vote today, we will continue to work to ban this dangerous and discredited practice. We now take our fight to the election. We will focus our community’s efforts – just as we did in 2012 – to win a pro-equality Senate majority that will vote to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Coloradans and their families.”

No LGBT young person in CO should be subjected to this harmful practice. We now take our fight to the November election.