’Ex-Gay’ Movement on the Rise in Latin America
Through his website Talk to Action, Bruce Wilson reports on research he and others do on the religious right.
He is currently tracking a movement called the New Apostolic Reformation that is spreading internationally and played a significant role in Uganda's stridently anti-gay policies. Efforts in that African nation to pass a death penalty for being gay apparently have risen and fallen according to pressure from human rights groups and diplomats, led by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the British government.
Wilson maintains that the rapidly rising neo-Pentecostal movements are supplanting their long-reigning precursor, the Roman Catholic Church. As they become more prevalent, they are playing more and more significant roles in any pushback against gay rights in Latin America. "Homophobia and aggressive campaigns against LGBT rights, plus ex-gay ministry approaches, are one of the signatures of the movement," Wilson said.
Within the apostolic movement "homosexuality is an abomination to God, life begins at conception and sex outside marriage is a sin," he added. He cited Brazil as "definitely the one country in Latin America to watch" because of the influence of charismatic evangelicals.
The New Apostolic Reformation conducts "transformational conferences" there attended by thousands of delegates. Adept at organizing and building influence, the movement promotes family values and issues a series of videos it calls "transformations."
The movement is currently focused on evangelizing the military, police and, through politicians, the entire government.
Hope & Disappointment in Ecuador
As for Ecuador, Correa replaced leftist Michelle Jeria, the country's first woman president. Gay activists had hoped she would promote gay rights, in vain as it turned out. Now they complain that Correa is not doing enough.
Carina Vance is a lesbian activist who has been leading the fight against the "reparative therapy" clinics. As the minister of public health since in January, she says that her government is committed to a long-term strategy to change the clinics' operations and is considering suing them for human rights violations.
Fundacion Causana, a human rights group, has been working on behalf of countless women allegedly being held against their will. Many hope that Vance and this group will put an end once and for all to the coercive, cultish, brutal and downright weird methodology and philosophy of the "ex-gay" movement in Ecuador.