DENVER – A bill to ban conversion therapy for minors in Colorado is now headed to Gov. Polis’ desk after being passed by the Senate Monday.
Polis is expected to sign the bill into law.
House Bill 19-1129 defines conversion therapy as: “Any practice or treatment by a licensee, registrant, or certificate holder that attempts or purports to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
If it’s signed into law, a physician who practices conversion therapy will be subject to disciplinary action by licensing boards.
The bill does not ban conversion therapy for adults.
Supporters, including Pueblo Democratic Rep. Daneya Esgar, called conversion therapy “dangerous” in a previous interview with News5 earlier this month.
“There’s real therapy that can help you, this type of practice is dangerous and this type of practice does harm and not good,” Esgar said. Esgar is an openly lesbian lawmaker who says she sought her own therapy.
Opponents of the bill say it violates parental and constitutional rights, and others expressed concern over language in the bill. Some argued it doesn’t give enough specificity to what the harmful practices are.
“Someone could say ‘that’s not what I was trying to do’,’ said Brad Bergford with the state chapter of the National Lawyers Association.