Bill Aims To Restrict Conversion Therapy
By Sean Powers, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
A bill advancing in the Illinois legislature aims to ban the use of conversion therapy to change some people’s sexual orientation.
The measure forbids mental health providers from performing that therapy to anyone under the age of 18.
House Sponsor Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) said she has heard from people all over the state who she said have been “victimized” by this practice.
“Each of the major mental health professions has come out different strongly that this is not based on science and therefore is not appropriate practice," Cassidy said. "What this bill will do is simply codify those statements so that our department of professional regulation has the authority to take appropriate action when a licensed mental health professional goes outside those codes of practice.”
California and New Jersey have similar bans in place.
The conservative Illinois Family Institute criticizes the legislation, saying it would keep young people from getting counseling for "unwanted feelings."