Colorado Republicans kill bill that would ban ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBT minors
The ban on the unscientific and controversial therapy — which seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient — was shot down by Republican Senators Ray Scott, Jerry Sonnenberg, and Owen Hill.
Senator Hill sent a letter to supporters claiming that his opposition to the bill was simply an extension of his belief that that “the heavy hand of government [should not] take away the dignity of choice in cases where individuals want this therapy.”
The bill, however, specifically made the age of the individual undergoing therapy a key provision, stating that it “prohibits a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry and a licensed or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age.”
Senate Democrats blasted the committee’s decision, sending out a press release in which it noted that “[e]very mainstream mental health group in the state, including the Colorado Psychological Association, Mental Health America- Colorado, and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado supported HB 15-1175. Other supporters included the American College of Pediatrics- Colorado Chapter, Colorado Children’s Hospital, and One Colorado.”
President Barack Obama is reportedly calling for a nationwide ban on the therapy next week. The White House’s statement specifically mentioned the death of Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old transgender teen whose suicide note alerted many to the dangers of conversion therapy.