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India state plans official rehab to ‘cure’ gay teens

India state plans official rehab to ‘cure’ gay teens

An Indian state is planning on setting up ‘rehabs’ for LGBTI youth to be ‘cured’.

Ramesh Tawadkar, Goa’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, said gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex teenagers need to be ‘helped’ – like young people who have committed crimes or are addicted to drugs.

Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Goa State Youth Policy 2015, he reportedly said: ‘We will make them normal. We will have a center for them. Like Alcholic Anonymous centers.’

When asked what role these ‘centers’ will take in the ‘treatment’ of LGBTI youth, he said: ‘We will give them medicine. They will be helped.’

Detailed research, according to The Hindu, will be carried out in order to ‘specifically address’ the LGBTI problem.

Sukhdeep Singh, a gay rights activist and editor of LGBTI magazine Gaylaxy, told Gay Star News he was ‘shocked’ this was being planned but ‘not surprised’.

‘This would be a disaster – government-mandated torture chambers for children are not what this country needs,’ he told GSN.

‘People who come out to their parents are already being given "psychiatric" – if you could call it that – treatment. It would reinforce it, it would give a license to parents who want to try to ‘cure’ their children.

‘It would be a form of torture.’

Singh said if Goa was to do this, it would be one of the worst things to happen to Indian LGBTIs since the colonial-era law that banned homosexuality was brought back in late 2013.

‘The government should focus more on how to help people rather than on how to hurt them,’ he said.