The Illinois Senate on Friday approved
a measure that prohibits therapies that attempt to alter the
sexuality or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender youth (LGBT).
Currently, three states – California,
New Jersey and Oregon – plus the District of Columbia have approved
House Bill 217 cleared the Senate with
a bipartisan 34-19 vote on Friday, 10 days after House members
overwhelmingly (68-43) approved the bill.
The legislation now heads to the desk
of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who has not said whether he will
Spearheading support for the bill were
the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian
Rights (NCLR) and Equality Illinois.
“By passing this important
legislation, Illinois lawmakers on both sides of the aisle stood up
for equality and against a dangerous practice that uses fear and
shame to tell young people the only way to find love or acceptance is
to change the very nature of who they are,” HRC Legal Director
Sarah Warbelow said in a statement. “Psychological abuse has no
place in therapy, no matter the intention. We urge Governor Rauner to
sign this bipartisan legislation into law and protect the state’s
youth from this harmful and discredited practice.”
Opponents have challenged similar laws
in California and New Jersey. But the U.S. Supreme Court has refused
to review lower court decisions upholding the bans.
Court won't hear challenge to New Jersey's ban on “ex-gay”
therapy to minors.)