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Ecuador’s new lesbian health minister to close "gay cure clinics"

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.

In the past, she called for reforms of the country’s health system, specifically for the closure of the ‘gay cure’ religious clinics, the regulation of HIV treatment distribution, and to put an end to LGBT discrimination within the health system.

A petition run by Change.org calling for the closure of such clinics raised 113,761 signatures, and is being welcomed as a victory. A similar petition on Allout.org currently has 64,650.

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