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Bill banning conversion therapy for Colorado minors to be signed into law

Posted at 11:45 AM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 15:22:22-04

DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis will sign two pieces of LGBTQ legislation into law on May 31: A bill banning conversion therapy for minors and another that will allow Coloradans to update the gender on their birth certificate without needing surgery or a court order.

The conversion therapy bill, which outlaws counseling and therapy that tries to change the sexual orientation of a person under the age of 18, was passed after several prior attempts by Democrat legislators.

The American Psychiatric Association and other psychology governing bodies have taken stances against conversion therapy. The APA on its website says conversion therapy poses "a significant risk of harm by subjecting individuals to forms of treatment which have not been scientifically validated" and that it undermines a person's self-esteem.

The birth certificate bill, known as "Jude's Law," was aimed at making it easier for transgender individuals to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender designation. Under the old law, transgender people who obtained a court order would only get an amended birth certificate. The new law allows people to both change their identity on their birth certificate without surgery and receive a new birth certificate.

Proponents of the bill called the measure an important move to legitimize people who have gender identity issues and will help end discrimination of transgender and non-binary individuals.

Jude's Law comes after a policy change last November from the Colorado Department of Revenue allowing Coloradans who don't identify as male or female to use an "X" designation on their driver's license.

Editor's note: This story inadvertently reported that Polis was signing the bills Friday. The governor is scheduled to sign the bills next Friday, May 31.