Denver could be the first Colorado city to ban the controversial procedure.
If Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver has his way, the city will be the first administrative unit in the state of Colorado to ban conversion therapy aimed towards minors. The mayor is supported in this endeavor by Councilmember Jolon Clark, Councilmember Robin Kniech, and the Office of Human Rights and Community Partnerships. Conversion therapy is used by some groups to attempt to change the sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or gender identity of an LGBTQ+ person, however, medical professionals have deemed the practice “unnecessary, ineffective, and dangerous.”
In his statement, Mayor Hancock said the terrible practices which target the city’s youth for their sexual orientation will be banned. He expressed dismay saying the procedure is “immoral and dangerous.” The mayor said his administration will ensure that such incidences will not happen in Denver again.
Mayor Hancock’s initiative has plenty of supporters. They say the ban will protect city youth from discredited and dangerous practices. The Mayoral office puts weight on the discredited part. A part of the statement elaborates on this aspect, stating conversion therapy centers on a false claim that being LGBTQ+ constitutes a mental illness which must be cured. This view has been fully rejected by every medical health group, including the American Psychiatric Association. The practices, moreover, the medical health groups warned, could be highly dangerous. The consequence could lead to decreased self-esteem and depression. There could be substance abuse, and in some cases, suicide.
My daughter and a couple other students have started up an LGBTQ club after school at their middle school. I'm very proud of her and I'm pleased to see Denver and Colorado pushing for positive measures to support our #LGBTQ youth https://t.co/moB5HttP1i
— High Heel Geek (@highheelgeek) December 18, 2018
Hancock’s statement touched on his personal life as well. He mentioned his brother who was queer and who received all the family’s support and love when he came out many years back. He then went on to say Denver’s LGBTQ+ youth deserve love and should be proud of their identity. The city celebrates individuality, and the people’s safety, happiness, and well-being occupy pride of place in the proposal.
Supporters of the Mayor say therapists practicing conversion therapy take advantage of the gullibility of parents and by doing so harm the susceptible youth. Hancock’s proposal would bar all therapists, who are licensed by the state and operating in both Denver City and the County of Denver, from practicing any sort of conversion therapy. Councilwoman Kniech said suicide may occur if someone tries to convert someone’s sexual orientation or gender. She went on to say she is proud of Denver for joining the list of cities which prohibit such dangerous practices.