CONGRESSMAN TED LIEU STATEMENT ON ILLINOIS BAN OF “CONVERSION THERAPY” ON MINORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 21, 2015
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles) issued the following statement on the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, which was passed by the Illinois state legislature on May 29 and signed into law yesterday by Governor Bruce Rauner. The Act, which was sponsored by Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy, forbids mental health providers from practicing so-called “conversion therapy” on children under 18. By preventing conversion therapists from falsely advertising that they can successfully change someone’s sexual orientation, this legislation is also the first law to be enacted on either the state or national level that contains direct protections for consumers from the inherently fraudulent nature of the conversion therapy industry.
Illinois joins several other states in restricting the practice of conversion therapy, including California, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. While serving in the California State Senate, Congressman Lieu authored the first statewide ban on efforts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors. Earlier this year, he introduced H.R. 2450, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which is the first federal bill to ban conversion therapy.
“I am delighted to learn that Illinois has banned “conversion therapy” on children under 18. I applaud Representative Kelly Cassidy and her supporters in Illinois for their historic work on the Youth Mental Health Protection Act. Only three years after California first banned conversion therapy, incredible progress has been made in the fight to protect the LGBT community from being defrauded and shamed by its practitioners. However, despite the fact that conversion therapy has been proven to be ineffective and dangerous, providers are still able to earn enormous profits by preying on LGBT Americans and their families. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass a federal ban on for-profit conversion therapy that will end this hazardous, bogus practice in America once and for all.”