Denver City Council unanimously votes to ban gay conversion therapy

The Denver City Council on Monday unanimously voted to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, making Denver the first jurisdiction in Colorado to institute such a ban. 

The proposal to ban the practice came from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's (D) office. Hancock and two city council members submitted the proposal to a Denver City Council committee last month. 

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"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," Hancock said in a statement released by his office

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

"Who they are is something to be celebrated, not maligned, and Denver will always be there to lift up our youth and ensure that they have the opportunity to grow up safe, happy and healthy," Hancock said.

The mayor's office previously said 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.  

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

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

Medical and mental health experts have largely condemned conversion therapy, saying that the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation is proven to be ineffective and can cause lasting psychological harm.