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China orders clinic that shocked gay man to ‘cure’ him to pay up

China orders clinic that shocked gay man to ‘cure’ him to pay up

A Chinese court has ordered a clinic that shocked a gay man to ‘cure’ him to pay compensation.

This ruling is being considered as China’s first case involving ‘conversion therapy’, with campaigners saying it could lead to people to stop thinking homosexuality is a disease.

Beijing’s Haidian District People’s Court ordered the clinic to pay 3,500 yuan ($560, €458) to 30-year-old Yang Teng, who said he was ‘very satisfied with the results’.

Yang said he voluntarily underwent the therapy in February following pressure from his parents to marry and have a child.

The clinic told him the therapy, that included hypnosis and electric shocks, was not dangerous. But in fact, like all other ‘gay cure’ therapy, it caused him severe mental and physical damage.

‘The court sided with me, and it has supported that homosexuality is not a mental disease that requires treatment,’ he told AP, hoping the ruling will help stop clinics offering ‘gay cure’ therapy. 

While China declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001, campaigners are hoping to change official clinical guides that refer to ‘ego-dystonic sexual orientation’. This means if an individual believes their own sexuality or desires ‘conflict with one’s desired image’, this is an illness.

But with this ruling, campaigners are hoping it has removed the ‘one last obstacle before a total depathologisation of homosexuality’.