The state flag of Colorado
Governor Jared Polis, the country’s first openly gay governor, has signed two bills into law that will protect the health and safety of LGBTQ youth in Colorado.
HB19-1039, also known as Jude’s Law, will allow transgender Coloradans to more easily update the gender on their birth certificate to M, F, or X — without surgery, a doctor’s note, or court order.
Removing both the surgery requirement and court order requirement allows transgender people the ability to self-identify on their ID document.
Colorado is the third state in the country, following California and Oregon, to provide non-binary gender options for both driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
HB19-1129 will ban state-licensed mental health care providers from engaging in the harmful practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ on patients under 18 years of age.
Conversion therapy, also called ‘ex-gay therapy’ by some, is the dangerous practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Conversion therapy has been widely denounced as discredited pseudoscience by leading professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association.
Studies have shown that controversial practice can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.
Colorado is the 18th state in the country to protect minors from conversion therapy.
“Being gay is not a mental illness and it does not need to be fixed,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg. “After sponsoring this bill for the past three years, I’m proud this will be the year we put an end to this harmful and deceptive practice.”
Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project, issued a statement, which read in part, “The Trevor Project is proud to stand with One Colorado and all of the amazing lawmakers and advocates in the Centennial State as they become the 18th state in the country to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.”
“Watching the first openly LGBTQ governor in the nation sign this legislation is an especially humbling moment,” added Brinton. “Trevor will continue working across the nation until this horrible practice is relegated to the dustbin of history.”