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The Daily Telegraph ‘defends’ gay rights in Ecuador

The Daily Telegraph has discovered gay rights. Not in Britain, where it has argued against the legalization of gay marriage, but in Ecuador:

As well as a poor record on free speech, Ecuador is accused of failing to meet other human rights.

Until 1998, homosexuality was illegal and despite legalising same-sex unions in 2008, there have been reports of corrective therapy centres in which gay women are raped.

Predictably, the Telegraph fails to mention that Ecuador’s health minister, appointed in January this year, is a prominent gay-rights campaigner who is responsible for having made these clinics a national issue and is dedicated to shutting them down:

The appointment of a lesbian politician as Ecuador’s new health minister has caused a stir this week, as she announced a campaign to shut down religious ‘lesbian cure’ clinics.

Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, announced the appointment of Carina Vance Mafla, who is openly gay, as the newest member of his cabinet.

The American-born activist hit the ground running, with an announcement that the health ministry will be working closely with lesbian rights group Fundacion Causana, and other civil rights groups, to shut down the remaining religious clinics which promise to ‘cure’ lesbians.

Vance has been heavily involved in campaigning towards equal rights, and was previously the Executive Director of Fundacion Causana.

The Telegraph’s defence of workers’ rights in Ecuador is equally unconvincing, citing criticism that predates Rafael Correa’s presidency. That is one of the reasons Correa was elected and why he is one of the most popular leaders in Latin America with 81% approval in January. Unlike Barrack Obama, Ecuadoreans seem to think he is working for change they can believe in.

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