The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is organized by One Colorado, an advocacy organization for Colorado’s LGBTQ community. Participants will meet at the Central Presbyterian Church in Denver for a training detailing the proposed bills and how to discuss them. Afterward, everyone will form groups with others from their state district and meet with the state legislators of those districts.
Two bills proposed by One Colorado are this year’s focus. One is a state ban on conversion therapy for minors, and the other is a bill allowing those who are transgender to easily update the gender on their birth certificates.
The first bill, HB17-1156, prohibits licensed psychiatrists and licensed or registered mental health care providers from engaging in conversion therapy with someone under the age of 18.
Conversion therapy attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity so that they become heterosexual or identify as their biological sex. It is widely discredited and recognized as a pseudoscience. However, some practitioners continue to conduct it. According to the Human Rights Campaign, minors are especially vulnerable to the practice.
California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and the District of Columbia have passed laws preventing licensed mental health providers from offering conversion therapy to minors, and over 20 states passed similar laws.
The other proposed bill, the Birth Certificate Modernization Act or HB17-1122, aims to make the legal process of changing the sex on one’s birth certificate easier.
Currently, in order to change the sex marked on a Colorado birth certificate, a person’s sex has to be proved to have been changed by a surgical procedure. One has to obtain a court order of competent jurisdiction, a certified copy of the order, a completed birth certificate correction form, identification and a processing fee.
This bill would eliminate the requirement of court order as well as require the government to issue a new birth certificate for someone with the sex changed instead of amending the old one. Rather than a court order, someone would need a written request from themselves or a legal representative for the change. They would also need a statement from a medical or mental health care provider confirming that the person’s sex has been changed through surgical procedure.
For those attending the event with children, there will be a table with activities for them during the training. For those with physical disabilities, the Central Presbyterian Church has an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible entrance and a van will be provided for transportation to the capitol building.
Almost 250 people signed up, according to One Colorado. They encourage people to register for the event at one-co.co/2017LGBTQLobbyDay so they can organize people into state district groups.
MQ Borocz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MQBorocz22.