“After ten years of fighting for the closure of these clinics, it was a Change.org petition with more than 100,000 supporters across the world that tipped the scales," said Change.org Human Rights Organizing Manager Emilia Gutierrez.
QUITO, ECUADOR (PRWEB) January 24, 2012
Ecuador’s Ministry of Health has begun investigating and closing hundreds of underground ex-gay torture clinics after more than 100,000 people joined an online campaign on Change.org.
Fundacion Causana, Taller de Comunicacion Mujer, and Artikulacion Esporadika, a coalition of leading Ecuadorian women’s rights activists, started the campaign on Change.org after working with women who had escaped what they call “torture clinics.” Many of these women cite widespread physical and psychological abuse including verbal threats, shackling, days without food or water, sexual abuse, and physical torture.
“After years of campaigning about the practice of torture rehab clinics that claim to cure homosexuality, the Ecuadorian government has committed to deconstructing the belief that homosexuality is a sickness,” said Fundacion Causana representative Karen Barba. “Using Change.org, we were able to achieve victory in closing down ex-gay torture clinics.”
Before resigning from his position earlier this month, Minister of Health Dr. David Chirriboga announced the Ecuadorian government would investigate and close all torture clinics in the country, launch a national advertising and awareness campaign against homophobia, and develop a crisis hotline for victims.
“The Ministry of Public Health, the governing body of Ecuador’s health sector, is committed to strengthening the measures and institutions that contribute to the eradication of abusive practices such as the supposed treatment of homosexuality,” Dr. Chirriboga said. “The Ecuadorian government rejects such practices as criminal and in direct conflict with the individual freedoms granted to all our citizens.”
Dr. Chiriboga will be replaced by Carina Vance, former executive director of Fundacion Causana and respected a gay rights activist in Ecuador. Under her leadership, three raids have already taken place in the Quito area, and dozens of women have been rescued.
“The growth and ultimate success of Fundacion Causana’s campaign on Change.org is incredible,” said Change.org Human Rights Organizing Manager Emilia Gutierrez. “After ten years of fighting for the closure of these clinics, it was a Change.org petition with more than 100,000 supporters across the world that tipped the scales. Watching the women of Fundacion Causana achieve this massive victory has been a truly empowering experience.”
Live signature totals from Fundacion Causana’s campaign:
For more information on Fundacion Causana group, please visit:
Fundacion Causana is a coalition group of LGBT activists in Ecuador. The group has been working directly with women and men who have escaped “ex-gay torture clinics” in Ecuador. The group is using Change.org and online campaigning to pressure the Ecuadorian goverment into investigating and closing the 200+ “ex- gay clinics” that continue to stay in business. More than 65,000 people in over 124 countries have joined Fundacion Causana’s campaign on Change.org.
For more information on Change.org, please visit:
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.