Ecuador Health Minister Slams Ex-Gay Clinics

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2012

Andrés Duque has translated and transcribed an interview with Ecuador’s Health Minister Carina Vance, who was a lesbian rights advocate before being named to President Rafael Correa’s cabinet. In the interview, Vance describes the difficulties posed by the country’s proliferation of abusive and torturous ex-gay clinics, and says that the government is revising its regulations and procedures to deal with the problems they pose:

Those who end up at the rehabilitation clinics – and what we have seen in the majority of these cases – is that they have been brought there by their own families. We have to work with those families. We have to work with the roots of the cause. And I’m not providing a justification that gives government a pass on its responsibilities. It has to be both. If we don’t tackle both issues we won’t get a sustainable response. It has to go hand in hand: An effort to educate and break up the myths and prejudices that exist in this society and, at the same time, a government-led response with the understanding that the State is the one that guarantees the human rights of all citizens.

…I would say that the existence of these clinics that perform these type of treatments is one of the most visible and shocking evidences of the prejudices we hold as a society. I believe that the discrimination and these prejudices are still present in day to day life and requires work from the government in taking responsibility of the actions and controls that should be taken.

LGBT advocates allege that there are more than 200 such clinics in Ecuador, with many of them operating under the guise of alcohol and drug treatment programs.

The full interview is available at Andrés’ blog, Blabbeando.

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