A bill which would ban therapies which attempt to alter a minor's sexual orientation from gay to straight in New Jersey is expected to be introduced later this month.

Democratic Assemblyman Tim Eustace is expected to formally introduce the measure when the Assembly returns next Monday. Eustace is openly gay and has raised two children with his partner of 31 years.

According to NJToday.net, Eustace's bill is similar to one recently approved by lawmakers in California. Governor Jerry Brown has yet to sign the bill into law.

“Studies and personal testimony have shown this practice creates irreparable harm on young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality,” said Eustace. “Forcing someone to deny their innate feelings and their very existence has led to depression, suicidal tendencies and other untold harm. Leading psychological professionals agree that this practice has no place in legitimate mental health therapies. I hope New Jersey will join California in leading the way on standing up to this harmful practice.”

The proposed legislation would prohibit mental health professionals from engaging in “sexual orientation change efforts” with a minor.

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) strongly opposed California's law, saying it would “likely increase harms to minors through its unintended consequences” such as forcing parents to seek therapy for their children from “unlicensed, unregulated and unaccountable religious counselors.”