Slow progress is being made in America to ban the use of fraudulent "ex-gay" therapy, also known as conversion therapy or reparative therapy on minors despite the protests of Christofascists backed quacks and charlatans who (i) use the practice to continue in political realms to claim that being gay is a "choice," and (ii) to fill their financial coffers as they prey on ignorant and gullible parents general motivated by Bronze Age religious beliefs. Sadly, while slow progress is being made in America, the Christofascist have exported the practices overseas, fighting a rear guard action as their influence wanes, especially among the Millennials. A piece in The Advocate looks at how this form of torture and psychological abuse has spread like a cancer overseas. Here are article excerpts:
Tragically, Manuel* had a very different outcome. As recently as one year ago, he had been forcibly admitted to a clinic where he was subjected to electroshock therapy in an attempt to “cure” his homosexuality. Disturbingly, Manuel’s situation is not an anomaly. Countless others have endured a myriad of treatments aimed at curing their “sexual deviations,” including surgery and substances. This issue was first brought to the public eye in 2011, when the national newspaper in Ecuador ran an article that estimated that 200 such facilities were still in operation across the country.
This may be shocking to some, but consider it in context: Fewer than 30 years ago, the World Health Organization continued to include homosexuality on its list of diseases and mental illnesses. It was only 20 years ago that Ecuador repealed its law against same-sex romantic activity and relationships. The rehabilitation clinics like the one Manuel attended were once far more prevalent; they closed down not only because they were not properly registered with the Ministry of Health, but because no one should endure having their sexuality forcibly “converted.”
As counterintuitive as it may seem, the families who send their children to these clinics do so out of love and concern for their wellbeing. Ecuador, while officially secular, is a largely Roman Catholic country. In fact, most of the clinics shut down by the Ministry of Health in 2011 were religiously affiliated.
It’s unknown how many of these clinics may still exist in Ecuador or around the world. They may even exist in your own proverbial backyard. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is working to pass legislation against gay conversation therapy in the United States, but at the moment, there is only legal protection for minors in four states and the District of Columbia.
I was able to find my safe place, and now I write in the hope that others will be able to find their own. In the words of LGBT activist Harvey Milk, “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”
The use of "ex-gay" therapy must be banned for not just licensed clinicians, but by bogus, witch doctor like religious "ministries." "Ex-gay" therapy is a form of child abuse and needs to be treated as such and outlawed and its practitioners prosecuted. Ignorance based religious belief should give no shelter to parents who subject their children to such harmful abuse.