Post submitted by Stephen Peters, former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson
HRC hailed a vote from the Colorado House of Representatives for passing HB18-1245 — legislation to protect LGBTQ youth in the state from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” The crucially important bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“No child should be subjected to this dangerous and debunked practice condemned by every major medical and mental health organization,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “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 Coloradons deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy.”
There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior. The harmful practice is 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, and Washington all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also passed similar protections, including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin. In addition, the Maryland state legislature passed similar protections earlier this week.
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.
HRC has partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation ending conversion therapy. More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.