A man who was forced to have gay conversion therapy has won a lawsuit against the psychatric hospital where he underwent the therapy.
The psychiatric hospital must pay compensation and apologize to the man, surnamed Yu, who was forced into the institution by his family. Th hospital must pay him 5000 Yuan ($736).
The 37-year-old man was forced into the hospital after he told his family he was gay and would divorce his wife according to an AFP report.
Yu told AFP last year that during his time at the psychiatric hospital he was strapped to a hospital for about 20 days. He was forced to take a range of pill designed to ‘correct’ his homosexuality.
The hospital diagnosed him with ‘sexual preference disorder’ and would not let him leave the facility.
The court in the city of Zhumadian ruled that Yu was not suicidal and therefore his treatment was a violation of his personal freedom.
‘This verdict is of great importance for homosexuals because no laws offer protection against these forced treatments,’ Peng Yanhui, director of the NGO LGBT Rights Advocacy China, told AFP.
Conversion therapy is not ok
Yu’s win is the second one of its kind in China. In 2014 Yang Teng successfully sued the Xinyupiaoxiang Counseling Center in Chongqing after he was told electric shock therapy and hypnosis would cure his homosexuality.
‘This is very important for China’s homosexuals,’ Yang said in 2014.
‘It is the first time that government officials, on the basis of the law, adopt a just statement on gay equality. We can take this result and tell people, including all the parents in China, and all doctors engaging in ‘gay conversion’ treatment, that ‘gay conversion’ is illegal.’
Homosexuality was decriminalized in China 1997 and it removed homosexuality and bisexuality from its official list of psychiatric diseases in 2001.
While there has been a crackdown on gay conversion therapy in China, advocates report it is still practiced throughout the country.