[JURIST] Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner [official website] signed the Youth Mental Health Protection Act [materials] into law on Thursday prohibiting [AP report] licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation of anyone under 18 years of age. State Senator Daniel Biss [official website], one of the sponsors of the legislation, released a statement [statement] on Friday calling the bill an important step in protecting young people and explained that many medical professionals believe conversion therapy can cause depression and risk of suicide. The bill will become effective [The Advocate report] on January 1, making Illinois the fourth state after California, Oregon and New Jersey to ban similar therapy.
In April the Obama administration [official website] voiced support [JURIST report] for banning sexual orientation conversion therapy on minors in response to an online petition with more than 120,000 signatures. The Oregon House [official website] approved House Bill 2307 in March, which prohibits [JURIST report] health care professionals from providing therapy to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of young people. Last September the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] upheld [JURIST report] a ban on gay conversion therapy in New Jersey. In 2012, California became the first state to ban [JURIST op-ed] sexual-orientation “conversion therapy” for minors.