Denver bans conversion therapy for minors, making it the latest city to pass a protection for LGBTQ minors. Mayor Michael Hancock proposed the ban last week in partnership with the Office of Human Rights and Community Partnerships as well as Council members Debbie Ortega and Robin Kniech.
Denver is the first city in Colorado to ban the outdated and distorted practice that endangers minors based on the biases of their families, tutors or communities.
In a statement released by Mayor Hancock earlier last week he urged the city to to protect the youth of Denver.
“These terrible practices that target our youth, simply for being who they are, are dangerous and immoral. We’re going to make sure that they never happen within our city,” said Mayor Hancock
The proposal was approved unanimously by the Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee on Wednesday Dec. 19. The amendment added a Title IX clause that protects the rights of all minors to express their sexuality.
The bill states that homosexuality is in no shape or form a disease and therefore it is not something that can be “cured” by false practices. It also states the history of discrimination towards the LGBTQ community and therefore rejects any sort of violence or discrimination against the community.
The American Psychiatric Association has argued time and time again that conversion therapy, particularly for minors, is ineffective and dangerous since homosexuality is not a mental illness. Instead, medical professionals urge families to educate themselves on LGBTQ rights. And focus on acceptance and growth instead of pseudoscientific torture.
“We should be supporting and uplifting every young person in our city, not turning a blind eye to discredited therapies that are exploiting our youth at a vulnerable point in their lives,” said Councilman Clark.
Even though professionals have condemned the practice, conversion therapy for minors is only prohibited in 14 states including New Jersey, California, Delaware, etc. Hopefully the actions taken by Denver’s local government will inspire other cities and states to follow suit and keep fighting for LGBTQ rights.
Also published on Medium.