On Monday, a district court in Henan agreed to hear a case brought forward by a gay man who was forced to undergo therapy inside a local mental hospital that was aimed at changing his sexual orientation.
According to SCMP, after the man’s wife discovered his true sexual preference, her family kidnapped him and threw him in the government-run Zhumadian Psychiatric Hospital. Despite the fact that since 2001 homosexuality has not been classified as a mental illness in China, the hospital still diagnosed him with “sexual preference disorder.”
In order to “cure” him of this disorder, the man was allegedly beaten and drugged over the next 19 days. He finally got out of the hospital when his friend called the police, CCTV News reports.
Two years ago, a similar case was brought against a Chongqing counseling center by an ex-client who said that the gay conversion treatment that he was subjected to at the clinic had left him traumatized. Part of that treatment included electroshock therapy. In a landmark decision for LGBT rights in China, a Beijing court ruled against the clinic later that year, as well as internet giant Baidu, which was ordered to take down ads for the clinic.
Inspired by that case, the man hopes to receive an apology and compensation from the hospital in court.
Despite the court’s ruling in 2014, clinics across China continue to use methods like electroshock therapy in order to “cure” patients’ homosexuality. Others apparently even employ exorcism to try and drive out the ghosts of dead pets that are making men gay. Seems like another court case is certainly in order.
By Amy Yang
[Images via People’s Daily]