As previously reported, various states and cities around the country are projected to make moves towards banning conversion therapy in 2019. The latest city to make strides toward this necessary turn in history? The Mile High City.
On Monday, Denver’s City Council unanimously voted to outlaw orientation change efforts from being performed on minors under the age of 18 years old. The city is defining conversion therapy as “based on the false claim that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured” and according to government leaders, the ordinance is aimed at state-licensed therapists, operating their practice in the city.”
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock considered this “a very proud moment for our administration, for members of City Council, and for everyone in Denver who values inclusion and acceptance.”
“Tonight’s vote to ban conversion therapy [is] our city coming together and saying with one voice that we will never allow our LGBTQ youth to be the targets of these dubious practices and that we are here to support them,” Hancock said in a press release. “Who they are is something to be celebrated, not maligned, and Denver will always be there to lift up our youth and ensure that they have the opportunity to grow up safe, happy, and healthy.”
While this is a huge win for the city, the rest of the state (and country) has a lot of catching up to do. Conversion therapy remains legal at a statewide level and no other cities and counties have passed anything like this. Similarly, only 14 states (and D.C.) have outlawed it.
However, now that Colorado’s new openly LGBTQ governor, Jared Polis, has been sworn in and control of State Senate has flipped to Democrats, this can change in 2019. We could be looking at a very different political landscape within the year—and we’re excited to see it happen.