One Colorado: Conversion Therapy Ban’s Defeat Will Be An Election Issue

The Denver Post
Dave Montez, the executive director of One Colorado, was not at a loss for words when a state Senate committee killed a ban on gay conversion therapy Monday. It was the second year in a row the Republican-led Senate killed such a bill after it passed out of the state House, where Democrats have the majority.
Pictured Dave Montez
Pictured Dave Montez

The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee killed the bill on a party-line vote. Though hardly a surprise, the defeat was a setback for the organization that represents the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

Montez said the state’s LGBT community will focus on making its feelings known in this fall’s elections.

House Bill 1210 passed out of the lower chamber on March 17. It would have prevented a licensed mental health provider from practicing conversion therapy on a minor. One Colorado contends the practice has been discredited and serves only to make young people ashamed of themselves without a scientific track record to show conversion works.

“Young Coloradans deserve our support and respect as they grow to understand their identities, not the harmful feelings conversion therapy creates,” state Sen, Pat Steadman from Denver, who sponsored the bill with state Rep. Paul Rosenthal of Denver. “We know it can lead to suicide, anxiety, drug use, and alienation from loved ones – and that there is no evidence of its effectiveness. Other states have already prohibited conversion therapy for those very reasons, and while we didn’t pass a bill this year, I look forward to the day when this counterproductive practice is a thing of the past.”