Virginia has banned licensed professionals from performing conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors. It's the first southern state to do so.
Conversion therapy aims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, and has been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts.
House Bill 386 passed the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is a pediatric neurologist, signed it Monday. Virginia is the 20th state to ban conversion therapy.
Northam said in a statement, "No one should be made to feel they are not okay the way they are — especially not a child."
Conversion therapy bans had previously been blocked in Virginia by Republican-majority chambers. The bill's fate changed this year when Democrats took over the state's House and Senate. It's the first time Virginia Democrats have held a majority in both chambers since 1996.
The law will take effect July 1. It will not impact adults who want conversion therapy for themselves.