The "ex-gay" myth and claims that sexual orientation are a choice have been among the weapons the Christofascists have used in their war against LGBT equality. Never mind that every legitimate medical and mental health association - i.e., those not bankrolled as fronts for anti-gay "family values" organizations - condemn "ex-gay" therapy and bogus church affiliated "ministries." Slowly states are belatedly beginning to recognize the evils and fraud perpetrated by these voodoo like ministries and unethical therapist. Now Illinois has joined the list of states banning the practice. Here are highlights from a the Human Rights Campaign press release:
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 217 into law, making Illinois the fifth jurisdiction—behind California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and Oregon—to protect LGBTQ youth from the dangers of conversion therapy. House Bill 217, which protects LGBTQ youth from mental health providers attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through these practices, which are linked to substance abuse, extreme depression, and suicide, was overwhelmingly approved by the Illinois House of Representatives and General Assembly.
The law will go into effect January 1, 2016. “We are thrilled that Illinois has joined the rapidly growing number of states leading the way to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy,” said the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator and Staff Attorney Samantha Ames. “Illinois families can now have confidence that the mental health professional they turn to in times of uncertainty may not use their state license to profit from their children’s pain. Most importantly, Illinois kids can now rest easy in the knowledge that they cannot be forced or coerced to undergo dangerous and discredited treatments to fix who they are. Today brings us one step closer to the day when all LGBTQ youth know they were born perfect.”No doubt the usual hate merchants will be crying as if someone had pissed in their Cheerios. I wish legislatures would go a step further: make subjecting one's child to ex-gay therapy a felony child abuse offense.