SACRAMENTO (KTLA) -- In a landmark move for civil rights, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will make the state the first to end attempts to change a minor's sexual orientation, his office announced Sunday.
The bill will bar mental health practitioners from performing "reparative therapy" on minors under the age of 18, which has long been labeled by gay rights groups as dangerous and abusive.
"This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide," Brown said in a statement on Twitter.
It was introduced to the state senate last February by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) to help raise awareness of now discredited methods by mental health practitioners to change a person's sexual orientation.
Lieu says he proposed the ban based on warnings from psychologists and psychiatrists that such treatment is not based on sound scientific principles.
"No one should stand idly by while children are being psychological abused, and anyone who forces a child to try to change their sexual orientation must understand this is unacceptable," Lieu said.
"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 in a statement.
In all, Brown signed 65 bills Saturday and vetoed 23. He has until Sunday at midnight to clear his desk of pending legislation.
The bill goes into full effect on Jan. 1.