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Ban on gay conversion therapy for teens passes committee, heads to full House

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DENVER -- A controversial fight on gay conversion therapy is back in the Colorado Legislature. The measure passed the House Health Committee, 7-6, on Tuesday night and it move to the House floor for debate.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Rosenthal, proposes banning gay conversion therapy for minors.

"I want to protect children from harmful psychological practices," Rosenthal said.

The measure, which was introduced last session and failed, is supported by Esteban Lee O'Neal, who is a survivor of gay conversion therapy.

"It's ridiculous," O'Neal said. "They tell you to do macho things. They teach you how to fix your car, join straight sports leagues."

O'Neal was sent to gay conversion therapy when he came out to his church. But others hope Republicans in the Senate, which killed the measure last year, stand firm.

Robin Goodspeed refers to herself as an "ex-homosexual" and testified that gay conversion therapy can work.

"There are excellent reparative therapists who are doing excellent work," Goodspeed said.

Four states -- California, Oregon, Illinois and New Jersey -- and the District of Columbia have bans on gay conversion therapy for minors.

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