A prominent Italian politician came out as gay during a live TV segment.

Vincenzo Spadafora is a member of Italy's Chamber of Deputies and a former minister for youth policies and sports.

During an appearance on Sunday's What the times are like (Che tempo che fa) Spadafora discussed his sexuality, saying that he came out for himself.

“I learned perhaps too late that it is important to love and respect each other,” he told host Fabio Fazio.

“I think that people's private lives should remain that way, but I also think those with a public role, a political role like mine, have some more responsibility.”

Spadafora said that he decided to come out to show that his sexuality was not “in contradiction” to his Catholic faith.

The 47-year-old politician is currently promoting his upcoming book, No Reservations: In Politics and Life (Senza Riserve: In Politica e nella Vita).

Italy has recognized gay and lesbian couples with civil unions since 2016.