Two Democrats have introduced bills that would prohibit therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Maryland.

Such therapies go by names such as “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy.”

According to the Washington Blade, state Senator Rich Madaleno of Montgomery County and Delegate Bonnie Cullison of Montgomery County introduced their bills on Thursday, February 8. Madaleno and Cullison are openly gay.

On Twitter, Madaleno, who is running for governor, described the therapies as “inhumane.”

“We need to ensure a better future for children free from this mental abuse,” Madaleno wrote. “[Maryland's governor] needs to be at the forefront of this fight. Under my Admin the young people of MD will be protected.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights group, cheered the introduction of the bills.

“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is dangerous and inhumane – no child should be subjected to this cruelty,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “This practice is child abuse that can have life-threatening consequences. We thank Delegate Cullison and Senator Madaleno for leading on this important measure and call on their colleagues to protect LGBTQ youth by quickly passing this bill.”

States which have enacted such bans include Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island and New Mexico. An increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar protections, particularly in Florida. Last week, the New Hampshire House approved a similar bill.