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The Nation’s First Gay Governor Just Signed A Colorado Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy

Democratic Governor Jared Polis is the first openly gay governor in American history so it’s fitting he just signed a bill that bans the horrid practice of gay conversion therapy in his home state of Colorado.

Jared Polis addresses a crowd of supporters
Photo by Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images

Kicking off the start of Gay Pride Month, Polis signed two LGBT rights bills. The first bans conversion therapy for minors and the second allows transgender and intersex individuals to update the gender on their birth certificate without requiring proof of surgery or a name change.

“Colorado has joined a growing list of states that have banned so-called conversion therapy,” A statement fro Polis reads on Twitter. “It’s a tortuous practice that has long been widely-discredited by medical and mental health professionals.”

In states where gay conversion therapy is not banned for minors, it’s expected that 20,000 LGBT children between the ages of 13 to 17 years old will be forced into dangerous programs.

ABC News reports on a Human Rights Council study that “showed teens subjected to conversion therapy were eight times more likely to attempt suicide than LGBT teens who were ‘not rejected or were only a little rejected by their parents.'”

Colorado bill HB19-1129, notes, “The bill prohibits a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry or a licensed, certified, or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age. A licensee who engages in these practices is subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate licensing board.”

18 states now ban gay conversion and Puerto Rico also forbids the practice.

According to CNN, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has found that approximately “698,000 LGBT adults in the US have received conversion therapy at some point in their lives.”

Banning the practice of gay conversion therapy may help reduce depression and suicide risks in minors and adults which likely explains why so many states have begun banning the hateful practice.



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