The State of Illinois has now joined California, New Jersey, The District of Columbia and Oregon in signing a bill into law that protects LGBTI youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.
House Bill 217 which protects youth from mental health providers attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, was signed into law on 20th August 2015 by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
Conversion therapy has been linked to extreme depression, substance abuse, suicide and described as “a dangerous and appalling practice based on junk pseudoscience that amounts to nothing less than child abuse,” by Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
Griffin also believes that conversion therapy uses fear and shame to convince young people that the only way to find love and acceptance is to change the very nature of who they are.
‘We thank Governor Rauner, as well as members of the state legislature on both sides of the aisle, for putting politics aside and the well-being of children first,’ Griffin stated. ‘We will continue to work with our allies to secure these crucial protections in every state across the nation.’
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) teamed up with The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Equality Illinois, and other groups to gain support for House Bill 217 and get its approval by the Illinois House of Representatives and General Assembly.
Samantha Ames who is the staff attorney of NCLR said, “Illinois families can now have confidence that the mental health professional they turn to in times of uncertainty may not use their state license to profit from their children’s pain.”
NCLR launched its #BornPerfect campaign in 2014 with the aim of stopping conversion therapy across the United States of America by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness by 2019.
Last Updated on Aug 23, 2015