Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, on Tuesday signed a bill into law that prohibits therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, making Maryland the 12th state to enact such a law.

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

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, cheered the news.

“No child should ever be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “This dangerous and ?inhumane form of child abuse has no basis in science and is ?uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare ?organization. Today, Maryland is a better place for countless young people thanks to the many advocates, allies, parents, and survivors who spoke out against this practice and urged their elected officials – Republicans and Democrats alike – to adopt these crucial protections.”

Democratic Delegate Bonnie Cullison introduced the bill in the House, while out Senator Richard Madaleno, a Democrat, sponsored the bill in the Senate. Madaleno is also running to unseat Governor Hogan.

“It's a significant move forward to say, 'You know what? Be who you are,'” Madaleno told The Baltimore Sun.

Similar legislation has been enacted in Washington, Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico and the District of Columbia. Governors in Hawaii and New Hampshire are expected to sign similar legislation approved by lawmakers. An increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar protections, particularly in Florida. In March, Milwaukee became the first municipality in Wisconsin to enact such a ban.