Gay conversion therapy ban heads to Illinois governor’s desk

The Illinois Senate has approved a ban on therapy designed to “convert” gay young people to heterosexuals.

The measure passed the Friday with a 34-19 vote after receiving House approval this month. It heads to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk. He didn’t immediately respond for comment.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy sponsored the bill which mental health therapist associations supported. The Chicago Democrat says conversion therapy increases the risk of suicide in teenagers struggling with their sexuality.

The initiative would prevent mental health providers from using the treatment on anyone under the age of 18.

Sen. Tim Bivins says teens and their parents should be able to choose the therapy. The Dixon Republican pointed out women under 18 can have abortions or take pregnancy-prevention pills.

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