Maine has become the 17th US state to ban so-called gay conversion therapy on minors, with the bill being signed into law by Governor Janet Mills.
“By signing this bill into law today, we send an unequivocal message to young LGBTIQ+ people in Maine and across the country: We stand with you, we support you, and we will always defend your right to be who you are,” Mills said, according to reports from Portland TV station WMTW.
The law is set to come into effect in 90 days.
Mary Bonauto, a Maine local and LGBTIQ+ legal worker who helped prepare hearings on the bill, said the move was a step in the right direction for the typically conservative state.
“Our goal should be to ensure that all youth in Maine are supported and have the opportunity to thrive,” Bonauto said in a statement.
“This legislation will go a long way toward creating that reality.”
According to Denver TV station KMGH, Colorado is set to follow in Maine's footsteps later this week, with Gov. Jared Polis planning to sign a similar bill into law - making Colorado the 18th state to do so.