The California Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill which would ban therapies that attempt to alter a minor's sexual orientation from gay to straight.

The measure (Senate Bill 1172), sponsored by Senator Ted W. Lieu, a Democrat from Torrance, cleared the chamber with a 52 to 21 vote. The Senate approved the bill in May, but amendments added in the Assembly means it must first return to the Senate for a concurrence vote before heading to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat who has not said whether he'll sign the bill into law.

In applauding the bill's passage, Clarissa Filgioun, board president of gay rights advocate Equality California, called such therapies “dangerous.”

“These dangerous, unscientific practices have caused too many young people to take their own lives or suffer lifelong harm after being told, falsely, that who they are and who they love is wrong, sick or the result of personal or moral failure,” she said.

Ryan Kendall described his experience to the California Legislature earlier this year, saying the therapy “destroyed my life and tore apart my family.”

“In order to stop the therapy that misled my parents into believing that I could somehow be made straight, I was forced to run away from home, surrender myself to the local department of human services, and legally separate myself from my family,” he testified.

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group which promotes the therapy, called the measure “another triumph of political activism over objective science.”

On its website, the group claims that passage of the bill would “likely increase harms to minors through its unintended consequences.” Parents, the group explained, would be forced to seek out therapy for their children from “unlicensed, unregulated and unaccountable religious counselors.”

“The vast majority of anecdotal accounts of harm to children from SOCE [Sexual Orientation Change Efforts] seem attributable to these types of counselors and to religiously oriented programs.”

Meanwhile, the “ex-gay” group Exodus International recently announced it would no longer offer such treatments, saying they don't work.

(Related: Dr. Robert Spitzer regrets 2001 study supporting “ex-gay” therapy.)