The mayor of Denver has announced plans to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors, a move that would make it the first Colorado city to prohibit the harmful, discredited, faith-based practice.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock (D) and two City Council members introduced the proposal on Monday, which will be reviewed by the Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness Committee on Wednesday…
“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,” Hancock said in a Monday statement.
The proposed ban hopes to protect LGBTQ youth form “dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression,” according to the mayor. The proposal aims to target state-licensed therapists within the city of Denver who claim that being gay, bisexual or transgender is a mental illness.
It is beyond time for every city to follow suit. Several government health organizations have decried the practice as harmful, both physically and psychologically. The “patients” who endure this treatment have been shown to face an increase of depression and risk for suicide, proving that the only thing damaging about being LGBTQ is not having a supportive community.
In his Monday statement, Hancock recalled when his brother came out as gay to his family and was met with love and support.
“All our LGBTQ+ youth here in Denver deserve the same, and they should be proud of who they are,”he added. “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.”
Colorado lawmakers have previously tried to ban conversion therapy throughout the state, but the proposed legislation has failed four times, according to CBS.
This makes me proud to be a Coloradoan — but shame on the legislators who valued their prejudice over actual people’s lives.
As more young people grow up having friendships with LGBTQ peers, tolerance will (hopefully) become the norm. Until then, it’s up to more officials like Hancock to set the example.
(Screenshot via YouTube)