LGBT activists in Israel are demanding the firing of Israel's education minister after he voiced support on Saturday for therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, Reuters reported.

Such therapies go by names such as “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”

Speaking with Israel's Channel 12 TV, Education Minister Rafi Peretz said that he believes such therapies can work.

“I have a very deep familiarity with the issue of education, and I have also done this,” said Peretz, an Orthodox rabbi and leader of the ultranationalist United Right party.

Peretz gave an example.

“First of all, I embraced him,” he said. “I said very warm things to him. I told him, 'Let's think. Let's study. And let's contemplate.' The objective is first of all for him to know himself well … and then he will decide.”

In a statement, the LGBT Task Force demanded Peretz be removed from his position.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distanced himself from Peretz's remarks, saying they were “unacceptable” to him and “do not reflect the position of the government.”

The American Medical Association (AMA) has denounced such therapies as potentially harmful.