Virginia became the first state in the South to ban the discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children.
Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, signed the ban into law Monday, making Virginia the 20th state, plus the District of Columbia, to ban the practice.
“Conversion therapy sends the harmful message that there is something wrong with who you are,” Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said in a statement Tuesday.
Conversion therapy is a practice or treatment that aims to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The American Psychiatric Association has denounced the practice for years, saying it puts minors at risk.