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India sports minister has plans to 'cure' gays

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He proposes setting up centers modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous to administer medicine.

If any of these Indian cricket players are gay, they would qualify for the proposed treatment center.
If any of these Indian cricket players are gay, they would qualify for the proposed treatment center.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

This is not an Onion item: The sports and youth minster in the Indian state of Goa has proposed setting up centers for gays and lesbians where they will be "cured" and administered medicine, Indian media reports.

Ramesh Tawadkar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event held in Panaji to launch the Goa State Youth Policy 2015 on the occasion of National Youth Day. The policy lists "stigmatized" LGBT youth as one of the many "target groups" which the documents says required "focused attention".

"We will make them normal. We will have a center for them. Like Alcoholic Anonymous centers, we will have centers...," Tawadkar said.

Tawadkar said LGBT people would be trained and given medicine, though he was not specific about either "remedy." An opposition politician summed up this proposal best, calling it "unscientific, illogical and brainless." Gay rights advocates could only shake their collective heads, with one saying, "This is ridiculous, it's like we're moving backwards."

To his credit, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was visiting the country, condemned India for its anti-gay laws:

Speaking in New Delhi, the UN chief referred to India's colonial-era law banning gay sex and said he "staunchly opposed the criminalization of homosexuality."

He said in a statement, "I am proud to stand for the equality of all people - including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. I speak out because laws criminalizing consensual, adult same-sex relationships violate basic rights to privacy and to freedom from discrimination. Even if they are not enforced, these laws breed intolerance."

The Twitter hashtag #ClinicBharo was used to mock Tawadkar and his proposal.

Tawadkar takes the early lead in the race for Outsports Asshole of the Year.