On Thursday, August 20, 2015, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation making that state the fifth jurisdiction to ban “converstion therapy” for LGBT minors (others are California, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.). The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2016, prevents licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of a person under 18 years of age, or from referring them to any organization or person who would try.
The usual “parents rights” and “religious freedom” complaints were heard from opponents, but the legislature passed the bill, and the Governor signed it.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama said he supported such bans.
Professional mental health organizations and associations have maintained that sexual orientation cannot be changed, and that attempts can be harmful to the patient. Religious organizations maintain that people can “pray away the gay”, but several leading organizations who claimed to change patients have since closed, and their owners/directors have admitted change had not happened, and that they may have caused more anguish to those who attended their facilities.
Four states down, 46 to go.