A bill that would have ended attempts to “cure” gay and lesbian youth of their sexual orientation in Illinois has failed despite Democrats holding a majority in the state House of Representatives, Gay Star News reports.
A total of 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, the report said.
House Bill 5569, also known as the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, was sponsored by lesbian Democratic Chicago Rep. 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 (LGBT) youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts,” the bill reads.
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, the Gay Star News article said.
“This is stuff that we should not be legislating on at all,” Republican Rep. 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,” she was quoted as having said in the report.