A measure to ban therapy aimed to “convert” gay young people to heterosexuals was passed by the Illinois Senate on Friday. After a 34-19 vote, the bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The proposed measure to ban gay conversion therapy reached the Senate after receiving House approval earlier this month. With support from mental health therapist associations, Rep. Kelly Cassidy sponsored the bill siting the conversion therapy as an increased risk of suicide in teenagers struggling with their sexuality.
If Rauner signs the initiative, mental health providers would be prohibited from using the treatment on anyone under the age of 18 in the state of Illinois. Those who oppose the bill feel that teens and parents should be able to have the choice to turn to the therapy. Republican Sen. Tim Bivins used the analogy of a woman under the age of 18 having the choice to have an abortion or taking pregnancy-prevention bills.
Illinois is looking to become the fourth state to outlaw conversion therapy. Earlier this month, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the first openly bisexual governor, signed a bill banning the discredited practice. President Barack Obama called for a national ban just a month prior.