On Tuesday, a court in Henan province ruled in favor of a gay man who brought a lawsuit last year against the government psychiatric hospital that forced him to undergo therapy aimed at changing his sexual orientation.
The court in Zhumadian has ordered the hospital to publicly apologize to the man, surnamed Yu, and pay him 5000 yuan in compensation for subjecting him to more than two weeks of brutal forced conversion therapy.
The 38-year-old man was kidnapped and brought to the Zhumadian Psychiatric Hospital against his will by his wife’s family after she discovered his true sexual preference. Despite the fact that homosexuality was removed from China’s list of psychiatric disorders in 2001, the hospital still diagnosed Yu with “sexual preference disorder.”
In order to “cure” him of this “disorder,” Yu was beaten and drugged over the next 19 days at the hospital, finally getting out after his friend called the police.
The case follows a landmark ruling by a Beijing court in 2014 against a private Chongqing counseling center (and Baidu) which had used electroshock conversion therapy in an attempt to “cure” one man’s homosexuality, leaving him traumatized.
Despite this historic decision, gay rights activists have discovered that methods like electroshock therapy continue to be used by clinics across China. Some clinics are apparently even employing exorcism to try and drive out the ghosts of dead pets that are making men gay.
This is a rare victory in what has been a rough summer for China’s LGBT community. Just in the past month, homosexuality has been banned from online videos, a scene of Michael Fassbender kissing himself was removed from the China cut of the latest Alien movie and Beijing was named the “world’s worst place to be gay.”
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