Puerto Rico is set to ban the harmful practice of gay conversion ‘therapy’ for minors.

Ricardo Rosselló, governor of the country, said on Tuesday 19 March that he will issue an executive order to ban the harmful practice, which he says “causes significant damage” to LGBTQ people.

The so-called therapy, which has been discredited by the NHS and the World Psychiatric Association, refers to any attempt at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and often involves techniques like electroshock therapy or prayer.

“As a father, as a scientist and as the governor for everyone in Puerto Rico, I firmly believe that the idea that there are people in our society who need treatment because of their gender identity or whom they love is not only absurd, it is harmful to so many children and young adults who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Rosselló said in a statement to the Washington Blade.

He added: “I strive for Puerto Rico to be a society in which everyone, no matter who they love, can be accepted and live without fear of persecution.”

The announcement comes shortly after a vote on banning conversion ‘therapy’ was blocked in the House of Representatives.

It’s currently unclear when the executive order will be signed.

Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city San Juan, took to Twitter to affirm that “love always wins over hate” and expressed her support for Rosselló’s decision.

“Conversion therapies are inhumane and seek to deprive human beings of their dignity. Love is love. It is a simple concept,” she wrote.