Denver mayor proposes banning conversion therapy for minors

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday proposed a citywide ban against conversion therapy for minors, which would make Denver the first jurisdiction in Colorado to pass such a prohibition, according to an announcement from the mayor's office

The proposal, which was submitted by Hancock and two city council members, will be reviewed by a Denver City Council committee on Wednesday, CBS Denver reported.

“These terrible practices that target our youth, simply for being who they are, are dangerous and immoral," Hancock said in a statement. "We’re going to make sure that they never happen within our city."

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Conversion therapy is a practice banned in nine states that seeks to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ minors. 

"When my brother came out to our family all those years ago, we knew that our love and support was what he needed," Hancock continued. "All our LGBTQ+ youth here in Denver deserve the same, and they should be proud of who they are." 

The proposal would ban state-licensed therapists operating in the the city and county of Denver from practicing conversion therapy.

The statement says that conversion therapy is "based on the false claim that being LGBTQ+ is a mental illness that needs to be cured," noting that this assessment has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association, as well as the medical and mental health community. 

"These practices are known to be extremely dangerous and can lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and even suicide," the statement adds.

Lawmakers have previously sought to ban conversion therapy in Colorado but the proposals have failed four times, CBS reported.

The Colorado General Assembly is expected to take up similar legislation again in the new year, Fox's Denver affiliate reported.