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Denver becomes latest US city to ban conversion therapy for minors

Residents celebrate Denver PrideFest in June 2018 (Photo: Facebook)

The US city of Denver just outlawed conversion therapy for minors.

The Denver City Council on Monday (7 January) unanimously voted to ban the practice.

Importantly, the city of 700,000 people joined 14 states and nearly 50 other cities and local administrations in the US in outlawing conversion therapy.

But, it was the first place in the state of Colorado to do so. Statewide, there is no legal restrictions.

‘This is a very proud moment for my administration, for members of City Council, and for everyone in Denver who values inclusion and acceptance’, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.

‘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’ he also said.

In fact, the vote came just days before Colorado swore in the United States’ first ever openly gay governor.

Conversion therapy

Conversion therapy is the harmful practice of attempting to change an LGBTI individuals sexual orientation or gender identity.

What’s more, mainstream health and psychological organizations denounce the practice for treating LGBTI identities as a mental illness.

Denver’s ban was first recommended by the city’s LGBTQ commission. Then, the office of human rights and community partnerships submitted the bill.

This week, Thirteen council members unanimously passed the bill.

The bill will ‘protect youth from dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression’ according to the council statement.

City Council candidate Candi CdeBaca also thanked Denver in a tweet:

Jared Polis

On Tuesday, Jared Polis became the state’s first Jewish governor and the country’s first openly gay governor.

‘Right now, our nation is experiencing a period of growing divisiveness and rising tribalism,’ Polis said in his inaugural speech.

‘But we here in Colorado have chosen a different path. Here, we have come so far, climbed so high, and done so much not just to say, but to show that we reject that brand of politics.’

His speech also praised Colorado’s diversity.

‘We have embraced the idea that no two people are exactly alike, and we have decided to celebrate our differences, Colorado for all.’

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Author: Rik Glauert