Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has approved an ordinance that bans therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender youth.

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

Bethlehem City Council voted in favor of the measure at Tuesday's meeting.

The ordinance was proposed by Councilman Bryan Callahan.

“For people to force them to go through some type of mental brainwashing … that if they really concentrate, they can change … it's bizarre,” Callahan told The Morning Call earlier this month.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, Bethlehem is the eighth Pennsylvania locality to approve such a measure. Others include Reading, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Doylestown, State College and Yardley Borough.

Allison Van Kuiken, state director of HRC Pennsylvania, applauded passage.

“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy which doesn’t work, and is tantamount to child abuse,” said Van Kuiken. “That’s why this abusive practice has been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, and why 14 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted laws or regulations to protect LGBTQ minors. We applaud the Bethlehem City Council and organizations like the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and Valley Youth House who made this possible, and remain committed to working with our partners in Pennsylvania and across the nation to ensure that young people are protected from this junk science in every jurisdiction.”