Baltimore County Del. Jon Cardin introduced Wednesday a bill that would prohibit administering so-called "gay conversion therapy" to Maryland minors.

The bill would prevent mental health professionals from engaging in efforts to change a youth's sexual orientation, a controversial practice that has been criticized by professional groups like the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cardin, who is running for attorney general, announced his intention to introduce the bill in December.

In an interview with the Washington Blade, he said "there are numerous gay conversion therapy providers ... advocating for what I consider very harmful conversion therapies." He pointed specifically to the Bowie-based International Healing Foundation as an example.