Governor Polis Signs Conversion Therapy Ban

June 1, 2019
Conversion Therapy ColoradoConversion Therapy Colorado Jim Anderson / Associated Press
Gov. Jared Polis signs legislation banning conversion therapy, a type of psychotherapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors, at a Capitol ceremony in Denver on Friday, May 31, 2019.

Psychotherapy that seeks to change minors' sexual orientation or gender identity is now illegal in Colorado.

Gov. Jared Polis signed the ban into law on Friday during a Capitol ceremony.

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

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

Polis, who is gay, says he's thrilled to launch LGBTQ Pride Month in June by outlawing what he calls a "tortuous practice" harming children.

Colorado becomes the 18th U.S. state — and the fourth this year — to ban conversion therapy.

Polis also signed into law a bill making it much easier for transgender Coloradans to update the gender on their birth certificates, identification documents and driver's licenses.

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