VAN OFFEL (HUGO)
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Homosexuality has only been legal for 20 years in Ecuador; it is still viewed very badly in this ultra-religious country. Thus more than 200 illegal private clinics offer to “cure” homosexuality with humiliation and bullying.
Those “rehabilitation” clinics’ stated goal is to “set their patients straight” – they are treated alongside addicts and alcoholics. Women interned for homosexuality are required to put on make-up, dress in short skirts and wear high heels to “reconnect with their womanhood”; they also have to intensively read excerpts from the bible aloud in order to repent. Humiliations and “corrective” rape are commonplace.
Despite those acts of torture denounced by local NGOs, the private clinic business is flourishing: the pastors who run these facilities receive important sums of money from American or British evangelical churches. Meanwhile, the families themselves pay between 500 and 2000 dollars per month to “cure” their children.