The Maine State House. Credit: Troy R. Bennett

Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has signed a bill banning conversion therapy.

With her action on Wednesday, Maine joins 16 states that have banned the practice, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Mills said that the law sends “an unequivocal message” to the LGBTQ community that “we stand with you, we support you and we will always defend your right to be who you are.”

She called conversion therapy “a harmful, widely discredited practice that has no place in Maine.”

Maine’s former Republican governor vetoed a similar measure last year, but the bill has gained momentum this year under a Democratic-led Legislature.