Corrective rape as a strategy to cure being gay in Ecuador

According to Alaska Dispatch, Ecuador is using corrective rape, torture and isolation as methods to “cure” being gay in rehabilitation centers throughout the country. These centers are under the guise of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and cost between $200 and $1200 a month.

There are 226 rehabilitation clinics in Ecuador, though the number of centers that offer “treatments” for sexual orientation are not known, according to the article.

Lesbians and gays who are forced to go to the clinic are often sent by a family member in an attempt to convert her/him to heterosexuality.

While the government has made strides in protecting LGBT rights under the administration of President Rafael Correa, they still have a long way to go.

Under the administration,  “a new Constitution pushed through by President Correa in 2008, civil unions are recognized for same-sex couples. Last December, for the first time, a lesbian was granted her deceased partner’s state pension,” according to the article.

These are great strides, but something needs to be done about these rehabilitation centers. The government closes the centers for small infractions, such as expired license or lack of fire exits, but they are reopened a few days later.

According to the article, Carina Vance, a gay rights activist who was appointed minister of public health last month, says that the “government is committed to a long-term strategy to change the clinics.”

Changing the clinics and making treating sexual orientation as a problem unacceptable would be a great standard that would bridge the gap between legislation and reality in Ecuador. It would affirm to the people of Ecuador that being gay is OK and not a “disease” that needs to be “cured.” It would begin to show the people that being gay is an accepted and normal aspect of life and should be embraced; instead, of discriminated against.



About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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