Denver just proposed a conversion therapy ban for LGBTQ minors.
According to an official statement released by the Mayor Hancock, the mayor, alongside the Office of Human Rights and Community Partnerships and Council members Robin Kniech and Jolon Clark, is proposing a ban on conversion therapy for minors within the city and county limits of Denver. If it passes, this will be the first conversion therapy ban in Colorado.
“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 the statement. “When my brother came out to our family all those years ago, we knew that our love and support was what he needed. 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, wellbeing, and happiness are our highest priority with this proposal.”
“Every mainstream medical and mental health organization has denounced the practice of conversion therapy,” said Denver LGBTQ Commission Chair Arash Jahanian according to the statement. “We have worked hard with the city and our community partners to protect Denver’s youth from this harmful practice. We hope to join a growing list of cities and states to pass a conversion therapy ban, and take another step in making our community a welcoming place that embraces LGBTQ people for who they are.”
The proposal was recommended by Denver’s LGTBQ Commission, and it would protect youth from parents and guardians claiming that being queer or trans is a mental illness.
“When a young person begins to realize they might be gay or lesbian, or that their gender doesn’t match expectations, they need love and support, particularly from trained professionals like therapists,” Councilwoman Kniech, who supports the proposal, said in the statement. “The discredited practice of trying to ‘convert’ someone’s gender or sexual orientation place youth at serious risk of suicide. I’m proud Denver is joining dozens of other cities and states to prohibit this dangerous practice in our community.”
“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,” Councilman Clark added in the official statement. “No matter what, Denver is going to stand united in making sure our youth, no matter sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, have support they need to be healthy and happy.”
This will be brought before the City Council’s Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. If this passes, conversion therapy in Denver will become a thing of the past.