Proponents of so-called "conversion therapy" claim it can help turn gay kids straight. Recently the California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban the controversial for minors.

Now, an openly gay New Jersey lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation to outlaw the therapy in the Garden State.

"Studies and personal testimony have shown this practice creates irreparable harm on young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality," says Assemblyman Tim Eustace. "Forcing someone to deny their innate feelings and their very existence has led to depression, suicidal tendencies and other untold harm."

Eustace notes that the practice has been condemned by the three of the leading mental health associations (the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association and the American Psychiatric Association). One of the nation's leading psychiatrists, Dr. Robert Spitzer is also condemning the therapy. Spitzer published a study supporting the practice almost a dozen years ago.

"There's no therapy for something that's not an illness," says Eustace.

The bill would outlaw counseling to change the sexual orientation of a minor. Under the provisions of the bill, a person who provides professional counseling, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of their professional training, shall not engage in "sexual orientation change efforts" with a person under 18 years of age.

The legislation defines "sexual orientation change efforts" as the practice of seeking to change a person's sexual persuasion or reduce or eliminate sexual romantic attractions, feelings, or behaviors because those attractions, feelings, or behavior are directed toward a person of a particular gender or both genders.

Eustace says he'll formally introduce the measure when the Assembly returns to Trenton on September 24.