- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A bill banning so-called conversion therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of gay young people is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.

The measure sponsored by Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy prohibits mental health providers from providing the therapy to anyone who is under age 18.

The Illinois House Human Services committee passed the measure Wednesday by a 9-6 vote.

Gay and lesbian advocacy group Equality Illinois is applauding the bill. The group says in a statement that Illinois should be a leader in protecting youth from “false and potentially dangerous treatment.”

But the conservative Illinois Family Institute says the legislation would prevent youths from getting counseling for “unwanted feelings.”

California and New Jersey have similar bans in place.

The bill is HB5569.

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