Illinois Becomes 4th State To Ban Conversion Therapy. No National Ban Yet.

Have you been forced to go through conversion therapy?  It's still legal in 46 states for parents to seek advice, counsel, and therapy from mental health providers.  Only 4 states outlaw such activity.  This week, Illinois became the 4th state.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday approved legislation that will prohibit doctors and therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

The legislation, known as the “Youth Mental Health Protection Act,” makes it illegal for any “mental health provider” to engage in “sexual orientation change efforts” with a person under the age of 18. Providers will also be prohibited from referring a patient to anyone else for purpose of attempting to change their sexual orientation.

Additionally, the law prohibits individuals from advertising conversion therapy services in a manner that represents homosexuality as a “mental disease, disorder or illness.”

Illinois State Senator Daniel Bliss said in a statement published Friday that conversion therapies for homosexuality could be extremely harmful to young adults.

“They’re out of date and can be deeply destructive to youth,” said Bliss. “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.”

The new law makes Illinois the fourth state in the United States to outlaw conversion therapy for minors. In April, the Obama administration called for a nationwide ban on conversion therapy for gay and transgender youth. –

Will this be the end of conversion therapy in Illinois?  We hope so, but the new law doesn't make the practice illegal for all.  One just cannot be a professional and cannot advertise your services in a certain way.  No law can be water tight and I feel some parents may find non-professionals to assist in offering their children therapy.

Why hasn't there been a National ban on conversion therapy?

In 1973 the APA’s nomenclature task force recommended that homosexuality be declared normal.  The trustees were not prepared to go that far, but they did vote to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses by a vote of 13 to 0, with 2 abstentions.  This decision was confirmed by a vote of the APA membership, and homosexuality was no longer listed in the seventh edition of DSM-II, which was issued in 1974.  –

Since I've been alive, homosexuality has been considered "normal."  With just 4 states outlawing conversion therapy, we are way behind where we should be.

When New Jersey outlawed conversion therapy in 2014, this is where public opinion stood. Do you think it's changed much?  It looks like we have a long way to go.



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