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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will become the first state to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB1172 by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance. Lieu says the law will prevent children from being psychologically abused.

Effective Jan. 1, the state will prohibit what is known as reparative or conversion therapy for minors.

Brown says the therapies “have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

Gay rights groups say the practice is dangerous because it can put youth at higher risk of depression and suicide.

Conservative religious groups and some Republicans argue that banning conversion therapy would hinder parents’ right to provide psychological care for children experiencing gender confusion.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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