Illinois 'conversion therapy' ban advances

Wed. March 26, 2014 9:35 AM by News Staff

Equality Illinois calls on Illinois House to pass conversion therapy ban

Springfield, IL - The Illinois House Human Services Committee approved a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" for minors by a 9 to 6 vote on Wednesday.

LGBT activists and advocacy groups, including Equality Illinois, are calling on the Illinois House of Representatives to pass the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act this spring.

"This bill would ensure that the most vulnerable individuals, those already struggling in the face of homophobia and transphobia, are not targeted and subjected to a practice that medical practitioners deem harmful and inappropriate," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said.

HB5569, introduced in the House Feb. 14 by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), would prohibit mental health providers from engaging in any effort to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18.

"We are grateful for the work of Rep. Cassidy and her cosponsors in advancing the bill and urge the full House to quickly follow suit," Cherkasov said. "Illinois has been a leader in fighting anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace and in public accommodations, and it should be a leader in protecting our youth from this false and potentially dangerous treatment."

SB3575, an identical bill, was also introduced in the Illinois Senate Feb. 14 by state Sen. William Delgado (D-Chicago).

California and New Jersey ban "conversion therapy" to minors. Lawmakers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and other states have introduced similar measures.