Friday, March 11, 2016
Will Colorado Pass a Conversion Therapy Ban?
A bill banning conversion therapy for minors is currently under consideration in Colorado. If passed, House Bill 16-1210 will prohibit "a licensed physician specializing in psychiatry or a licensed or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age".
The bill comes at a time when so-called "ex-gay" proponents are reeling from humiliating defeats. Currently, four states and the District of Columbia have passed laws banning conversion therapy for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project. Last year, a New Jersey jury concluded that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healins (JONAH) made fraudulent claims when it told clients it could change their sexual orientation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Unfortunately, JONAH is still operating overseas.) Recently, LGBTQ groups have filed a federal consumer fraud claim against so-called "ex-gay" organization People Can Change, according to the Guardian and Wisconsin Gazette.
On March 8th, opponents of conversion therapy spoke before the Colorado House Health Committee, urging them to support House Bill 16-1210. Speakers included Dave Montez, executive director of One Colorado, and Esteban Lee O'Neal, a survivor of Evergreen (a Mormon ex-gay program). According to Fox 31 and KWGN 2, the measure passed by a vote of 7-6 and will move on to the Colorado legislature. Here's hoping that the legislature will vote the bill into law.