Illinois Senate passed a bill Friday that would ban gay conversion therapy. HB217 passed the Senate 34-19 after receiving House approval, and is now headed to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk.
Democratic State Representative Kelly Cassidy, who wrote the bill, personally recalled the difficulties of coming out:
“Frequently parents aren’t going to know what to do and are going to turn to mental health professionals. They need to use science in their practice, and not mislead families and abuse children.”
Democratic Senator Daniel Bliss of Evanston added:
“The overwhelming consensus of professionals is this is not legitimate therapy. It’s actually abusive, and the truth of the matter is not everyone survives it.”
Republican lawmakers, however, argued that the bill would limit youth from seeking treatment for unwanted same-sex desires. Republican Senator Tim Bevins said that parents should be able to choose the therapy for their children. He compared the situation to females under 18 being able get abortions and receive birth control.
Meanwhile, Republican Governor Rauner has not yet released a statement about his intention to sign the bill, but has been quoted as having “no social agenda.”