A bill that would have ended attempts to ‘cure’ gay and lesbian youth of their sexual orientations in the US state of Illinois has failed despite Democrats holding a majority in the state House of Representatives.
54 state representatives voted against the bill while only 44 representatives voted for it.
There are 108 seats in the Illinois House of Representatives and 71 of those are held by Democrats.
House Bill 5569, also known as the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, was sponsored by openly lesbian Democratic Chicago Representative Kelly Cassidy and stated ‘being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.’
‘Illinois has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts,’ the bill read.
The bill would have given Illinois’ Department of Professional Regulation the power to deregister so-called 'ex-gay' therapists by mandating that ‘Any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a person under the age of 18 by a mental health provider or any referral made by a mental health provider to a third party practicing sexual orientation change efforts shall be considered unprofessional conduct.’
However the bill’s opponents said the issue fell outside lawmakers field of expertise.
‘This is stuff that we should not be legislating on at all,’ Republican Representative Jeanne Ives said according to The New American.
‘We have no purview in this department. We have no expertise in this department. It’s absolutely something that should not ever be legislated on. Let people decide for themselves what they need to have for themselves.’
If the bill had passed Illinois would have joined California and New Jersey as states that ban so-called ‘reparative therapies’ aimed at changing sexual orientation in minors.