California - first state in America to ban gay conversation therapy for children. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Sunday which prohibited people under the age of 18 from undergoing sexual-orientation change therapy.
The move marks a major victory for gay rights advocates who said that the therapy, also called reparative therapy, has no medical basis because homosexuality is not a disorder.
AdvertisementAccording to the Telegraph, the bill had support from the American Psychiatric Association, California Psychological Association and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, among others.
"LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth will now be protected from a practice that has not only been debunked as junk science, but has been proven to have drastically negative effects on their well-being," Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said.
He urged other states to follow California's lead.
State Senator Ted Lieu, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement that Brown had signed the bill.
Lieu said the psychiatrist who pioneered the therapy, Dr Robert Spitzer, has since renounced it and has apologised to the gay and lesbian community.
The bill will come into effect on January 1.