California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law late Saturday night banning therapy used to change the sexual orientation of LGBT children and teenagers.
"This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide," Brown said in a statement. "These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."
According to Buzzfeed, LGBT advocates had lobbied Brown heavily to ban the practice, known as "reparative" or "ex-gay" therapy. The Human Rights Council (HRC) said it had collected nearly 50,000 signatures on a petition calling for Brown to sign the bill. Saturday was the last day he could decide to sign or veto the bill, SB1172, or let it go into effect on its own.
The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, bans mental health providers from offering therapy designed "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex." Violation of the law will be met with discipline by the provider's licensing body.
"LGBT 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," HRC President Chad Griffin told The San Francisco Chronicle. "We commend Gov. Brown for putting children first, and call on all states to take California's lead on this issue."
[Image via Agence France-Presse]