LGBT people in Ecuador are reportedly being forced to undergo violent “conversion therapy” in unlicensed rehabilitation clinics, even though homosexuality is legal in the South American country.
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuters news service that focuses on human rights, the psychological and physical abuse has been occurring for more than a decade.
“Corrective therapy, in mostly private and clandestine alcohol and drug addiction clinics, continues in Ecuador,” says Cayetana Salao of Taller de Comunicacion Mujer, an LGBT rights group. “It’s a reality.”
Admitted by parents or other relatives and held against their will, LGBT people, particularly lesbians, are reportedly being beaten, chained to beds, force-fed medicine, and held in solitary confinement. Victims have also reported “corrective rape” by fellow patients and staff who believe homosexuality is a curable mental illness.
Salao, who notes that evangelical groups are gaining influence in the predominantly Catholic nation, estimates about 200 …