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Ecuador: Lesbian Activist Appointed to Presidential Cabinet

Ecuador: Lesbian Activist Appointed to Presidential Cabinet


A woman who led the charge to shut down clinics in Ecuador that promised to help "cure" homosexuality has been appointed the head of the South American country's health ministry.

To continue his pro-gay record, President Rafael Correa has announced that Carina Vance Mafla would join his cabinet as health minister. According to Blabbeando, the previous health minister stepped down after it was clear that he was unable to solve the problems of the country's troubled national health care system.

Officials with the LGBT organization Equal Rights Now (Igualdad de Derechos Ya!) commended Mafla's appointment and said they hoped she would "pay attention to the distribution of HIV medications, create guidelines to prevent discrimination against LGBT individuals at hospitals and health centers and take action on shutting down illegal religious "clinics" that promote 'cures' for homosexuality," Blabbeando reports.

A network consisting of nearly 200 illegal so-called reparative therapy clinics was uncovered four years ago. Thirty were shut down by Correa's government in September 2011 after pressure from activists including Mafla and from and petitions, directed at former health minister David Chiriboga Allnutt.

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