GLN supports 'conversion therapy' ban proposed for Illinois

Sun. February 23, 2014 5:06 PM

Chicago, IL - The Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) issued a statement saying it emphatically supports the "Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act" recently introduced into the Illinois House by Rep. Kelly Cassidy.

The bill provides that no mental health provider shall engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under the age of 18.

GLN has been working against programs utilizing conversion therapy for many years and is pleased to see our suggestion of legislation on banning it for youth is beginning the process towards becoming law. In recent months California and New Jersey have enacted similar legislation protecting children and youth from this form of child abuse.

Conversion or "reparative" therapy begins with the premise that homosexuality is an illness, a pathology in need of a "cure." Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have condemned the quackery behind such phony cures. The Psychiatric Association, for example, says that "Ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation." The Psychological Association commented that reparative therapy was "certainly discredited." In 2001 the Surgeon General stated that "there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed."

The "pray away the gay" and "ex-gay" myths have been the source of suicide and stunted lives, and are well documented as causing more harm than good. That many parents and clergy, charged with protecting youth, impose this destructive treatment on youth is an act of child abuse that should be prohibited by law.

For these reasons GLN has pursued the purveyors of this practice for 15 years, protesting for example, Moody Bible Institute professors, Wheaton College events, church seminars, and fundraisers for Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) and Illinois Family Institute (IFI). Indeed, continued advocacy of scientifically fallacious ex-gay programs is a primary reason why the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled AFTAH and IFI organizations as hate groups.

From a press release