Introduced in the Illinois House on Valentines Day, HB5569 forbids mental health providers from engaging in any therapy or counseling aimed at changing the sexual orientation of a person under the age of 18. It also says any provider engaging in such therapy - also known as "reparative therapy" or "reorientation therapy" - will be subject to action from their local licensing entity or disciplinary board.
Cassidy admits that there "had not been a tremendous number of complaints" about such therapy in the state. However, she introduced the bill in order to do what she thinks is best to keep Illinois' "LGBT youth safe."
The Senate bill, SB3575, was also introduced on Feb. 14. It amends the Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act, Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, Marriage and Family Therapy Licensing Act and Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor Licensing and Practice Act to define "sexual orientation change efforts," and provides that a licensed professional cannot engage in the therapy with a patient under the age of 18.
Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said Cassidy's bill "would ensure that the most vulnerable individuals, those already struggling in the face of homophobia and transphobia, are not targeted and subjected to a practice that medical practitioners deem harmful and inappropriate."
Gay Liberation Network (GLN) added that it "emphatically supports the 'Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act' recently introduced into the Illinois House of Representatives by Kelly Cassidy."