The city of Denver is looking to ban conversion therapy for minors, CBS4 Denver reports. The move would make Denver the first jurisdiction in Colorado to ban the practice, and follows at least nine states taking similar action.
Conversion therapy is designed to change an LGBTQ person's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, but such programs have been widely condemned. "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 Michael Hancock said in a statement.
The statement continues: "Conversion therapy is based on the false claim that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness that needs to be cured – a view that has been rejected as scientifically invalid by the American Psychiatric Association and every major medical and mental health group for decades. These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and even suicide."
Supporters say the ban will protect Denver's youth from "dangerous" and "discredited" practices. The proposal would ban state-licensed therapists operating in the City and County of Denver from practicing conversion therapy.
State lawmakers have tried to ban conversion therapy in Colorado but proposals have failed to pass four times. Denver's proposal will be presented to City Council on Wednesday, according to CBS4 Denver.