Just in time for Pride month, Colorado Governor Jared Polis is making history with his recent legislative efforts.
The first openly gay man elected as governor in the United States has signed into law two pieces of legislation that benefits the LGBTQ community. One law denounces “ex-gay” conversion therapy for people, making Colorado the 18th U.S. state – and the fourth this year – to ban conversion therapy.
The other law, called Jude’s Law, assists transgender people in regards to their original birth certificate and being able to change the gender markers on it to state their newly assigned genders. Not only will they be able to update their original birth certificates, but other forms of identity such as driver’s licenses.
Denver’s local CBS affiliate states that Jude’s Law allows citizen’s in the state to update their gender on their birth certificate to M, F or X without surgery, a doctor’s note, or court order. This move allows trans people the freedom to self-identify. Colorado is one of three states in the country (along with California and Oregon) to have non-binary gender options for both driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
“Versions of these bills were first introduced in 2015, and were previously sent to kill committees in the Republican-controlled Senate after passing the House,” said officials with One Colorado, an advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans. “This year, both bills passed with bipartisan support in both chambers.”
Gov. Polis stated, “In just 27 years, we’ve had a remarkable transformation from when we were derogatorily called the ‘hate states’ to a place where the rights of all Coloradans are respected, where we have a strong LGBTQ caucus in our state legislature, where we move forward with valued contributions that every Coloradan makes regardless of their race, regardless of their gender, regardless of their orientation, regardless of their gender identity.”