Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on
Thursday signed a bill that prohibits therapies that attempt to alter
the sexuality or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender youth (LGBT).
With Rauner's signature, Illinois joins
California, New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia in
prohibiting such therapies.
The Illinois Senate approved the
measure in May.
Spearheading support for the bill were
the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian
Rights (NCLR) and Equality Illinois.
“With this tremendous step, LGBT
youth in Illinois are now protected from a dangerous and appalling
practice based on junk pseudoscience that amounts to nothing less
than child abuse,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.
“Discredited by every major mental health, medical, and child
welfare organization, conversion 'therapy' uses fear and shame to
tell young people 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. We will
continue to work with our allies to secure these crucial protections
in every state across the nation.”
Rauner is the second Republican behind
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to sign such legislation.