Despite adamant advocating by queer Coloradans, on April 23 the state’s senate passed an anti-LGBTQ adoption bill and killed a conversion therapy ban. These bills directly oppose two pro-LGBTQ bills that have been proposed this session.
One Colorado, the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, in their press release reported that Senate Bill 241–the Colorado Children First Act–allows adoption and foster care agencies to decline potential parents or families based on religious requirements. The release explained that the ruling could endanger children by allowing for a religious exemption in areas of child abuse and neglect, so long as that abuse does not “imminently and seriously endanger a minor’s physical health,” and as long as the parents claimed it was based on religious beliefs or moral convictions.
Propositioned by Republican members of the Colorado Senate’s State, Veterans, and the Military Affairs Committee, the bill claims “leading legal scholars concur that conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious liberty are real and should be addressed through legislation.”
The Executive Director of Adoption Options, a Denver-based adoption agency, stated that “adoption decisions should be made based on the best interest of the child, not based on the religious beliefs of child service workers and placement agencies. Taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to fund adoption agencies that reject prospective adoptive parents, based on factors that have nothing to do with being a good parent.”
The same committee voted against House Bill 1245 , which aimed to “prohibit a licensed physician specializing in 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.”
This is the fourth time the bill has been introduced by Democratic Colorado State Representative, Paul Rosenthal. After four years, Rosenthal’s bill still has had no luck with the Republican Senate.
The executive director of One Colorado, Daniel Ramos, responded that “this bill was marked for death the instant it passed out of the House, and that is shameful”
“Considering the Senate majority has now killed two pro-LGBTQ bills this session, while advancing a decidedly anti-LGBTQ license to discriminate bill this afternoon, it is clear that a new majority in the Colorado Senate is needed. A majority that is pro-equality and will stand up for all Coloradans, including LGBTQ Coloradans, in the fight for a fair and just Colorado,” Ramos concluded.