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LGBTQ Coloradans to lobby the Colorado Capitol on Monday

Author: Joey Bunch - February 24, 2018 - Updated: February 27, 2018

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debateSupporters of the state’s agency for civil rights called on state budget writers to fund the agency in a Feb. 13 rally. (Photo courtesy of One Colorado via Facebook)

One Colorado, the state’s largest LGBTQ organization, will be joined by hundreds of allies at the Colorado Capitol Monday.

It’s an annual event that starts at 8:30 a.m. with a gathering nearby at the Central Presbyterian Church at 1660 Sherman St.

Again this year, the LGBTQ lobby is pushing for a bill to make it easier for transgender people to amend a birth certificate to reflect their gender identity.

House Bill 1046 is scheduled to be debated on the House floor Monday, where the Democratic majority is almost certain to send it to the Republican-led Senate. Colorado Politics reported on the bill’s initial committee hearing two weeks ago.

The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar of Pueblo and Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City, both Democratic members of the legislative LGBTQ caucus.

The caucus also includes Reps. Paul Rosenthal of Denver, Joann Ginal of Fort Collins, Leslie Herod of Denver and Senate Democratic Leader Lucia Guzman of Denver.

Lobby Day is an annual event, but One Colorado executive director Daniel Ramos predicted this year’s

“LGBTQ Lobby Day is an opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and allies to learn more about the issues that impact them, a chance for them to tell their stories directly to their elected officials and make their voices heard,” he said.

One Colorado also is lobbying again this year for a bill to ban on conversion therapy for minors, House Bill 1245, which will be heard by the House Public Health Care and Human Services at 1:30 p.m. on March 13.

The mental health practice, outlawed in some states, is therapy for teens and children who might be experiencing same-sex attractions. One Colorado and other critics say it’s discredited science that harms young people’s self-esteem and could contribute to suicides.

Rosenthal has carried a similar bill in each of the last three sessions, but he hasn’t been able to get it past the Republican majority in the Senate.

“As long as there is one child who may be subject to this form of torture, we need to continue doing this bill with the goal of calling attention to this malpractice and hopefully we will be able to pass it someday,” Rosenthal tells Colorado Politics.

He’s joined on the bill by three other Democrats, Guzman, Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Sen. Stephen Fenberg of Boulder.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.