America's first gay governor bans conversion therapy for minors
Colorado banned gay conversion therapy on Friday after Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill one day before the start of Pride month.
Polis signed two bills regarding LGBTQ rights, including the conversion therapy bill, and another which allowed transgender and intersex people to update the gender on their birth certificate without requiring proof of surgery.
Polis is the first openly gay elected governor of the United Sates.
According to a January 2018 survey by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, it was estimated that 20,000 LGBTQ children from 13 to 17 years old were to receive conversion therapy, a controversial practice which claims to make homosexual people straight through conditioning.
The bill signed by Polis - HB19-1129 - reads, "The bill prohibits a licensed physician specialising in psychiatry or a licensed, certified, or registered mental health care provider from engaging in conversion therapy with a patient under 18 years of age. A licensee who engages in these practices is subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate licensing board."
Colorado is the 18th state in the US to prohibit gay conversion therapy, following in the footsteps of Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Maine.
The Human Rights Council cited a San Francisco State University study which showed that teenagers subjected to conversion therapy were eight times more likely to attempt suicide than other homosexual youngsters who were "not rejected or were only a little rejected by their parents."
The Council also added that the following organisations oppose conversion therapy: The American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association.
Polis' signing on the bill came on the same day as Donald Trump was heavily criticised for a tweet regarding the start of Pride month. The 45th President of the United States has repeatedly attacked the transgender community, having banned them from the military.