California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Saturday a bill banning what is known as "reparative" or "conversion" therapy for minors -- a controversial therapy used to help those struggling with same-sex attractions combat their unwanted desires, the Christian Post reports. The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, says no mental health professional will able to provide to anyone under the age of 18 therapy that seeks "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex" -- regardless of the "willingness of a patient" or a "patient's parent." Mental health providers who violate the law will be subject to discipline by whatever group regulates and licenses them. The organization Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, who opposed the bill and called it unconstitutional, wrote in an open letter in August to the bill's author, Sen. Ted Lieu: "As parents of gays and ex-gays, we are ashamed of your willingness to take action against parents, children, and the family in order to support gay activists. California is not a socialist state and our children do not belong to the government, subject to the ideology of the state over the objections of their parents."