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Illinois lawmaker introduces bill to ban conversion therapy on LGBT youth

Sunday, February 23, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A bill that would prohibit the use of controversial gay-to-straight conversion therapy on LGBT youth, has been introduced in the Illinois state legislature.

The “Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act” (HB 5569) was introduced in the state House by openly gay state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago.) The bill provides that no mental health provider shall engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under the age of 18.

Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassiby with her three sons.

Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy with her three sons.

“Fundamentally, we need to love our children as they are brought to us,” Cassidy told WTAX in Springfield. “I have three little boys, and I don’t know who they are going to be. I know they are going to be loved.”

“Rep. Cassidy’s bill to outlaw conversion therapy is not only welcomed, it is direly needed,” said Rick Garcia, longtime LGBT rights activist and political director of The Civil Rights Agenda.

“Far, far too many people have suffered at the hands of those who attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation. One’s sexual orientation cannot be changed and serious harm has come to some of those who have tried,” said Garcia.

Conversion (also referred to as “reparative”) therapy begins with the premise that homosexuality is an illness, a pathology in need of a “cure.”

“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 deems harmful and inappropriate,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have condemned the the controversial practice.

In 2001, the Surgeon General stated that “there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”

“Mainstream, responsible therapists have long realized this and conversion therapies have been debunked,” added Garcia. “The Illinois legislature should act swiftly so that gay people, especially gay youth, are not victims of these harmful practices.”

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Both California and New Jersey have banned the treatment but legal challenges followed shortly after the bills were signed into law.

California’s ban was upheld at the federal level, and by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but has since been put on hold pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court

Another federal judge has upheld the New Jersey law.

Similar legislation has advanced in Washington state, but was killed in Virginia.

Bill are also pending in Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

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55 more reader comments:

  1. GOOD

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:56pm
  2. go my home state

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:57pm
  3. Progress…hope it gets passed:)

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:58pm
  4. we need this in michigan! how do we get this here?

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:59pm
  5. I hope it passes!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:59pm
  6. fingers crossed

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:59pm
  7. The fact that this is still an issue is an insult to human intelligence

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:00am
  8. Did I hear that right? We are 2014, no? It still exists?! Shameful!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:00am
  9. And where states are banning conversion therapy, the clowns are suing the states.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:13am
  10. Nuts!!! When will this end? It is so different in Canada! Feeling for my American pals.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:15am
  11. I thought this was a thing of the 1950's that was abandon after homosexuality was no longer consider a mental illness. I was shocked to find out that it sill exist today and religious fundamentalist are suing states for banning it but I am glad the courts have repeatedly upheld those laws.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:59am
  12. What is that I never heard of it

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:02am
  13. "Conversion" or "reparative" therapy is a phony psychological procedure to attempt to turn gay children straight. They make the children extremely ashamed of themselves, resulting often in severe depression, and for many, suicide.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:17am
  14. basically it's torture. state-sanctioned torture of children. Sure, the REALLY bad stuff is technically illegal, but that doesn't always stop them. And even what is legal is still horrible.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:33am
  15. not only does it exist, schools use it without parental knowledge and consent. its disgusting.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:04am
  16. huh?

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:33am
  17. schools use conversion therapy on lgbt students without parental knowledge or consent. our school used it on my child and i didnt find out until after the fact. my kids are homeschooled now because of it.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:37am
  18. That’s what’s up

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:06am
  19. Good !!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:07am
  20. Ban it indeed.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:08am
  21. That shit still goes on!?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:08am
  22. Another puritanical homophobe that needs to sail away on the Mayflower

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:13am
  23. I think every “conversion therapist” who eventually causes a young child to commit suicide should be charged with murder.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:15am
  24. i agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:16am
  25. Wonderful

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:16am
  26. Conversion therapy must not be applied on anybody.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:19am
  27. That’s really dumb and horrible..

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:19am
  28. this should be illegal everywhere

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:31am
  29. Why can’t this be nationwide?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:33am
  30. It’s so sad that laws have to be passed for human validation…. Especially children….And they worry about Gays raising children. I sure hope these children are protected via Advocates…With all of these straight parents screw ups….tsk tsk

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:36am
  31. Conversion therapy is a death trap. Ban that shit!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:42am
  32. GOOD!!!!!that is so wrong really people?????

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:47am
  33. “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in order to achieve their full potential.” – Harvey Milk

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:54am
  34. DEAL WITH SEXUAL MOLESTATIONS OF STRAIGHT SCHOOL TEACHERS AND STRAIGHT CHURCH PEOPLE … Please… How much did the church pay for sexual
    Molestation?? That you should consider first!! You DUMB ASS

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:01am
  35. They take the fun out of everything…Sarcasm of course

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:01am
  36. That fact that we need a bill for this in a country supposedly all about equality and human rights is vile.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:03am
  37. FOR ALL WE KNOW … These straight people are molesting the children again…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:04am
  38. HATERS IN THE GENES..

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:04am
  39. So glad they want to ban I hadn’t heard of this before but it sounds horrible!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:06am
  40. OMG FINALLY. never even thought about that!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:21am
  41. Good.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:21am
  42. Let’s convert homophobics and transphobics, not our LGBTQ youth!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:30am
  43. I don’t think there needs to be a ban. It has a 0% success rate anyway :D

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:41am
  44. Love it. Stop forcing left-handers to try to be right-handers… And everything else like that, eh?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:25am
  45. Good. !!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:38am
  46. Exactly as Courtney said. Ifyou believe they’re born that way why ban conversion therapy ?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:22am
  47. Good one! Now teach tolerance to the nutballs in Arizona!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:27am
  48. Wonderful! I have faith that it’ll pass. :)

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:28am
  49. We need this? Really!?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:31am
  50. Ahh wish

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:39am
  51. I hope it gets passed. I don’t want conversion therapy being forced in my state!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:59am
  52. conversion therapy is sick , all it causes is severe self loathing and depression, anyone cruel enough to inflict this on others should be sent to prison for no less than five years

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:13am
  53. Can someone please tell me what the fuck CONVERSION THERAPY IS?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:18am
  54. FINALLY!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:24am
  55. yes yes yes go right ahead this is great lets how it turns out in couple a years i say my son was born gay thank you an praises

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:39am