A complaint over a clinic that claims to be able to turn gay men straight using hypnosis in Chongqing, China, will be heard by a court in Beijing.
Activists sought to file complaints against the Xinyu Piaoxiang clinic in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Changsha but only the Beijing court decided to hear it.
Along with the clinic they are also suing Chinese search engine Baidu for allowing the clinic to advertise its services through its website.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights Advocacy China has hailed the court’s decision to take on the case as groundbreaking.
‘Before, Chinese courts would have never taken on such a case,’ a member of the group told Al-Jazeera.
‘It’s a sign of tolerance.’
Homosexuality was officially classed as a mental illness as recently as 2001 and Chinese men face huge familial pressure to get married so there is a big market for people peddling supposed ‘gay cures’ in China.
Scholar Zhang Beichuan has estimated the number of straight women married to gay men in China at 16 million.