The Irish government has committed to banning so-called conversion therapy in the country this year.

The Irish Mirror newspaper reported Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Minister Roderic O’Gorman, who is openly gay, last month described conversion therapy as a”cruel process rooted in the promotion of shame.” O’Gorman also stressed “a process that seeks for somebody to change their sexual orientation or gender identity is extremely exploitative, particularly if undertaken on someone under 18.

“I’d hope to bring the legislation into the Dáil (the lower house of the Irish Parliament) next year,” he told the Irish Mirror. “Obviously, legislation takes time but I think it’s possible we could have it passed by the end of the year. That’s certainly what I’d be working towards, but it could drift into 2024.”

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is also openly gay.

Malta, Brazil and Canada are among the countries that ban the widely discredited practice.

Then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision last year to exclude transgender people from a bill to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales sparked outrage among LGBTQ and intersex activists. The British government subsequently cancelled an LGBTQ and intersex rights conference after advocacy groups announced they would boycott it.

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