Overbeck: Democrats in Colorado Legislature push bills endangering your children

By Joy Overbeck | Special to the Rocky Mountain Voice

Most of us want to see the most vicious child predators and the monsters who use children for sex locked in the slammer for a good, long time.

But, not the Democrats in the Colorado Legislature. They unanimously killed Rep. Brandi Bradley’s, R-Douglas County, House Bill 24-1092 that would increase sentences for criminals convicted of pimping a child for prostitution, keeping a place of child prostitution and similar crimes to sentences of at least four years in prison. The bill would also increase sentences for the worst predators using menacing or criminal intimidation – that is, violence or threats of violence – to induce a child to commit prostitution to at least eight years in jail.

This seems reasonable. But, since the Bradley bill was killed in committee on a party-line vote (8 Democrats opposed, 3 Republicans in support) the perpetrators of these sickening crimes that can destroy a child’s entire life are still eligible for probation, escaping any jail time whatsoever.

The Democrats have even more alarming plans. Fully, 32 of the 45 House Democrats are sponsoring HB24-1039, “Non-Legal Name Change” which would put into law what is already happening in many Colorado schoolrooms. Minor children are changing their names to reflect their “chosen gender identity.” This bill allows little Bill to tell the school he’s now Jill, and Jenny to instruct everyone at school to call her Benny, along with the new pronouns.

The bill “requires public schools and charter schools to use a student’s preferred name…and deems a school’s refusal to use a student’s preferred name a form of discrimination.” Discrimination is against the law. In other words, a school or a teacher or an entire school district could be sued if refusing to use a name that a “transgender” child claims represents a new gender identity. Worse, the bill sets up a “task force” whose policy “recommendations” will be forced on all 179 Colorado school districts by July 1, 2025. The new rules will almost inevitably include children’s privacy protections – shorthand for don’t tell the parents.

That’s already happening in the JeffCo School District, where transgenderism name and pronoun policies mirror those of HB24-1039 and also state “school staff shall not disclose information that may reveal a student’s transgender status to others, including parents and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure.”

This board oversees nearly 70,000 students in 155 elementary, middle and high schools whose new opposite gender names and identities are hidden from their parents. At the March 14, 2024, meeting, the Jeffco School Board – President Mary Parker, Paula Reed, Erin Kenworthy, Danielle Varda and Michelle Applegate – enthusiastically endorsed HB24-1039 which will confirm the district’s secrecy rule. And as State Senator Janice Marchman notes on X, “Students sometimes change their names multiple times during a school year. No problem.”

YES, PROBLEM. By enabling and supporting children to “identify” as a gender opposite from their biological “birth assignment,” this bill can put children into the school-to-gender-change pipeline at an early age. Using schools as a promoter of transgenderism and threatening them with lawsuits if they don’t comply makes this bill a state-run recruitment tool for the bizarre phenomenon of transgenderism spreading now among children, called a “social contagion by Abigail Shrier in her essential book, “Irreversible Damage, the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.” 

Young people are captivated by social media “stars” like male-to-female transgender Dylan Mulvaney, infamous for decimating Bud Light sales, and other trans celebrities with millions of followers on social media. Young people are fascinated by the all-the-rage Tik Tok and YouTube videos of kids and adults transforming into the opposite sex right before their eyes – changing with makeup, changing their clothing, and changing their names. These youth are vulnerable to thinking going trans is the answer to all their problems as they deal with the mysterious changes in their bodies and navigate the typical emotional and mental storms of adolescence. 

Children and teens are not mentally or emotionally equipped to decide if they were born in the “wrong body.” They don’t understand that their identity change, name change and clothing change at school are the first steps toward what can be permanently life-changing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and ultimately transgender surgeries. 

We’re not just talking pronouns here. Districts like the Poudre School District in Larimer County spell out where school support for next steps can lead for their 28,000 students. According to their Gender Support Guidelines: “If transgender and non-binary students express a need for gender support to another school staff member, the staff member may refer the student to the school counselor to discuss additional support that the student may need…” 

Additional support is code for referring the student to gender clinics or medical doctors who can prescribe “gender-affirming care” with puberty blocker drugs and cross-sex hormones that affect a young person’s developing brain and bones by halting normal puberty in its tracks. Adding their professional clout to the effort to normalize transgenderism, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all have declared fealty to “gender-affirming care.” School counselors and therapists are also onboard. They are required to affirm the young person’s gender confusion; any other opinion is considered “conversion therapy” which is illegal in Colorado for minors under age 18, according to House Bill 19-1129, passed four years ago. 

The Poudre District infects children with trans ideology in even innocent-seeming places. Erin Lee is a mom whose 12-year-old daughter went to Wellington Middle School in Fort Collins where she attended an after-school “Art Club” meeting. The club was actually a Gay-Straight Awareness/Alliance club run by the art teacher, who invited guest speaker Kimberly Chambers, an employee of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and a substitute teacher. Chambers is also the director of SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado, whose website advertises “SplashNoCo serves LGBTQIA+ youth ages 2-24, their families, schools, and community connections” – yes, toddlers starting at age 2! 

In just a few hours Chambers convinced Lee’s vulnerable daughter that she was transgender. Though the woman cautioned the girl not to tell her parents about the indoctrination session, she did. Trans indoctrination led to a longterm destruction of the family’s happiness, an agonizing rift between loving parents and child, and a young girl’s despair that nearly led her to suicide.

The film Art Club chronicles the family’s ordeal and can help other parents navigate these dangerous times. Watch Art Club for free.

Research shows that gender dysphoria, the feeling of discomfort with one’s own body, is usually temporary, and nearly all children suffering from it will outgrow these feelings. But the dangerous effects of these powerful drugs aren’t temporary. And using these drugs to alter children’s growing bodies is essentially medical experimentation. Even the socially liberal European nations that years ago pioneered the transgender craze are realizing their mistake.

The medical authorities in Finland, Sweden, Norway and even France are now restricting the use of gender-switching drugs for minors, basically agreeing with the Swedish government’s National Board of Health and Welfare that determined the risks of puberty suppressing treatment and gender-affirming hormonal treatment currently outweigh the possible benefits.”  

At the very least, the medical practitioners just don’t know the long-term consequences. And just this month, England’s National Health Service officially banned puberty blockers for children, stating “there is not enough evidence of safety and clinical effectiveness.” Help, they say, should come from psychotherapy and parental involvement, not medical intervention.

It’s too late for far too many. Yet even as the de-transitioner movement grows by thousands of adults, like Chloe Cole, who now bitterly regret taking these irreversible drugs and undergoing mutilating surgeries that rendered them sterile and even more miserable or suicidal, the Democrats in our legislature are aiding and abetting transgenderism for Colorado youngsters. 

With Democrats overwhelmingly outnumbering Republicans in the state legislature, HB24-1039 will likely pass – unless you speak out.  If you want to protest this bill and perhaps tell your legislator that you’d like schools to focus on academics, not the gender-bending agenda of the radical left, use this tool to find your representative

As part of their gender-affirming offensive, the Democrats also plan to put children in jeopardy with HB24-1071, “Name Change to Conform with Gender Identity.” This measure allows adult convicted felons, like the sexual predators out on parole due to the Democrats’ rejection of Rep. Bradley’s bill, to change their names if they identify as the opposite gender. Here’s the outrageous part: the convicted felon is not required to notify the courts of the name change. Which means this dangerous person, usually a biological male, would no longer appear on the Colorado Sex Offender website because he’s changed his name to a woman’s.

Currently more than 19,000 registered sex offenders in Colorado are listed on the site; more than 14,000 of them have felony sex offender convictions. 

Chances are good some of them live in your neighborhood. You can look them up and see. But if they can change their names without notifying the court, you will never know if they live next door. This bill is in keeping with the Democrats’ firm dedication to favoring criminals and abandoning potential victims, even if they are children. 

At the very least, this bill must be amended with a requirement to officially inform the court and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which keeps the sex offender list, of the name change. Otherwise, we’ll have thousands of the vilest sexual predators hiding in plain sight. 

 Joy Overbeck is a Colorado  journalist whose work has appeared at Townhall.com, American Thinker, The Washington Times, Complete Colorado, The Federalist and elsewhere. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter/X @joyoverbeck1