ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A measure to prohibit health professionals from practicing “gay conversion therapy” on minors has been approved by the Maryland Senate.

The Senate voted 34-12 Wednesday for the bill, which now goes to the House.

The measure would classify the practice as unprofessional conduct and subject providers to discipline by the state licensing board.

Supporters of the bill say the practice is widely discredited by medical and mental-health associations. They say the measure would protect youths from depression and anxiety by preventing them from being forced into such treatment.

Opponents say the measure is too broad and would ban a single conversation with a licensed professional. They also say it would force young people who want counseling to seek guidance from people who aren’t licensed.

Nine other states and Washington, D.C., ban the practice.

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(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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