California lawmakers are considering a one-of-a-kind ban on psychological therapy that attempts to make gay people straight.
Gay rights activists have often criticized the conversion therapy, arguing that the treatment is ineffective and can often do more harm than good.
"This therapy can be dangerous," state Sen. Ted Lieu, the bill's author, said.
He added that conversion therapy can "cause extreme depression and guilt" for an individual.
If passed, the legislation would prohibit conversion therapy for minors and would require adults to sign a release stating the counseling is ineffective and possibly dangerous.
Religious groups say the ban would interfere with parents' abilities to seek appropriate psychological care for their children.
Representatives of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality also called the bill a piece of "social engineering" posed to look like a solution to a clinical problem.
The bill has already passed its final Senate committee.