Illinois votes down “ex-gay” therapy ban

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A bill that would have banned the use of gay “cure” therapy on minors was struck down in Illinois in a 54 to 44 vote in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 5569, the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, was sponsored by openly lesbian Democratic Chicago Representative Kelly Cassidy.

The bill stated that “being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.

“Illinois has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts.”

The legislation would have protected LGBT citizens under the age of eighteen from “cure” therapies attempted by “any mental health provider or referral made by a mental health provider.”

The majority-Democrat House of Representatives rejected the bill because it fell out of their “field of expertise.” According to The New American, Republican Representative Jeanne Ives stated that “This is stuff that we should not be legislating on at all.”

Bill sponsor Cassidy said the treatment plan “causes depression, causes suicidal actions, and is incredibly harmful to children.”

She added, “The practice of conversion therapy is dismissed by every major scientific organization and should not be utilized. There’s not a single scientific basis for one’s… orientation being a disorder. We need to protect our children.”

Illinois introduced civil unions for same-sex couples in 2011, and legalized marriage equality in November 2013.

In 2012, California passed a similar bill banning “reparative” therapy for teens with same-sex sexual attractions. New Jersey followed suit in August 2013.

429Magazine

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