House committee advances bill to ban so-called conversion therapy for minors

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DENVER — State lawmakers want a fifth attempt to ban psychotherapy that seeks to change minors’ sexual orientation or gender identity to succeed.

The House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee sent a bill to ban the practice to the full House on a 6-3 vote Wednesday. Three GOP lawmakers cast the no votes.

Psychology’s governing bodies have denounced so-called conversion therapy, which treats being gay or transgender as a mental illness.

Research shows it can increase the risk of suicide, drug abuse and depression among teens.

Dozens of therapy survivors and supporters testified for the bill, whose sponsors are Democratic Reps. Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Daneya Esgar and Sen. Stephen Fenberg.

Republicans quashed previous attempts, but Democrats now control both legislative chambers.

Gov. Jared Polis, who is gay, met with supporters Wednesday.

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