Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Monday signed a bill into law that bans therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

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

The law, a first for a Southern state, takes effect on July 1.

“This issue is personal for me, as a pediatric neurologist who has cared for thousands of children,” said Northam in a statement, The Washington Post reported. “Conversion therapy is not only based in discriminatory junk-science, it is dangerous and causes lasting harm to our youth. No one should be made to feel wrong for who they are – especially not a child. I’m proud to sign this ban into law.”

Democrats, who in November regained control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1996, have introduced a number of LGBT rights bills this legislative session.

(Related: Virginia lawmakers approve LGBT protections bill; Governor Northam requested legislation.)