biss august floorSPRINGFIELD -- Licensed mental health professionals in Illinois no longer are able to treat patients under 18 using "conversion therapy" methods thanks to a bill signed into law today.

Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation prohibiting the practice, which aims to change clients' sexual orientation.

"These so-called 'therapies' treat homosexuality as a disease," Biss said. "They're out of date and can be deeply destructive to youth. Outlawing these practices is a small step in our pursuit for LGBT rights, but it's an extremely important step in protecting young people in Illinois."

Under the new law, Illlinois youth still can get counseling to discuss concerns or thoughts about their sexuality. However, therapists and other professionals, if licensed by the state, may not try to change a minor's orientation. The clear consensus of professional associations and medical researchers is that conversion therapy can have terrible consequences, including increased depression and risk of suicide attempts.

Illinois joins a handful of other states and Washington D.C. with conversion therapy bans on the books.

Category: Press Releases

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