The governor of Colorado (USA), Jared Polis, signed this Friday a duet of laws to protect the rights of The LGBTQ community: one that prohibits the so-called «conversion therapy» and another that facilitates gender change in identity documents.
The first law, HB19-1129, prohibits the qualification of being gay or transgender as «a mental illness» and specifically prohibits the question of «converting» young gays.
Polis said he was excited to have signed the law one day before the start of the pride month of the lesbian community, gays, bisexual, transgender and «queer» (LGBTQ), held throughout June, emphasizing that «conversion therapy» is «a Torturous practice «that» harms young people.
«Conversion therapy» or rehabilitation aims to change the identity or sexual orientation of people and has its foundation in that homosexuality is «a disease or a mental disorder.»
Next to Maine, Colorado is the second state that this week passes laws against that practice.
In all, 18 states of the nation, together with 50 cities and jurisdictions, have similar laws. The district of Columbia and Puerto Rico do not allow «conversion therapy» either.
The other law that signed the Democrat, the HB19-1039, began to gestate five years ago, precisely with the backing of Polis, and eliminates the requirement that a transsexual person first undergo surgery to change biological sex in his birth certificate.
Interested parties will also not need a medical certificate to make that change, nor a court order, and they may choose to have their identity card indicated by «M,» «F,» or «X.»
The law will enter into force on January 1, 2020 and makes Colorado the third State in the country, along with California and Oregon, to approve such measures.
«Colorado will continue to make history as the first openly gay governor of our country continues to sign pro-equality laws, sending a strong message that (…) It is a state that is open to all, «Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, said in a statement.
For his part, Chad Griffin, president of the National organization Human Rights Campaign, said after the signing ceremony that the new law «protects young LGBTQ from this state of the dangerous and discredited practice of ‘ conversion therapy. ‘»
«Governor Polis is a pioneer of LGBTQ rights and representation (…). This is a great day of progress for Colorado and for our community, «added Griffin.
Polis signed these measures within days of having initialled a package of laws in favor of immigrant rights.