Last Monday, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Council members Robin Kniech and Jolon Clark introduced a bill to prohibit “ex-gay therapies” for LGBTQ minors.
The statement released by the mayor’s office states: “Conversion therapy is based on the false claim that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness that needs to be cured–a view that has been rejected as scientifically invalid by the American Psychiatric Association and every major medical and mental health group for decades. These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, and even suicide.”
Mayor Hancock explained that the ban will protect LGBTQ minors from “dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”
“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,” Mayor Hancock said in a statement.
“When my brother came out to our family all those years ago, we knew that our love and support was what he needed,” he added. “All our LGBTQ+ youth here in Denver deserve the same, and they should be proud of who they are. We celebrate who they are, and they should feel welcome and that our city is open to them. Their safety, well-being and happiness are our highest priority with this proposal.”
Last Wednesday, the Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee reviewed the bill pending the vote.
So far, 14 states and Washington, DC and many other municipalities have banned “ex-gay therapies” for LGBTQ minors while a national effort was launched a few weeks ago.
In Colorado, four attempts to prohibit this dangerous practice have failed. Denver could become the first city in the state to ban “conversion therapies”.