Chinese man wins forced gay conversion therapy lawsuit

Chinese man wins forced gay conversion therapy lawsuit”

His diagnosis was "sexual preference disorder", and he spent 19 days in the hospital, receiving medications that would supposedly rid him of his same-sex desires.

Such conversion therapies are unscientific and ineffective, but they remain on offer at many clinics across China.

Although Yu's suit is the first successful one involving forced conversion therapy, a gay activist who voluntarily submitted to such therapy in 2014 did win a suit against the clinic "for the suffering he endured in treatment", the AP reports.

The hospital had infringed on the right of 38-year-old Yu Quanhu, not his real name, to individual freedom, the court said in its June 26 judgment.

Speaking last summer of his ordeal to AFP, Yu said he was strapped to a hospital bed for nearly 20 days while forced to ingest a cocktail of pills meant to "correct" his sexual orientation, with hospital staff threatening to hit him if he refused to swallow. He said he left his family home because he was anxious about being forced into hospital again.

The psychiatric hospital must pay compensation and apologize to the man, surnamed Yu, who was forced into the institution by his family. "Winning this lawsuit can give all gay people confidence that they can safeguard their rights through the courts", Huang said, adding that the verdict would also act as a deterrent to other hospitals carrying out such treatment.

Homosexuality was removed from the list of mental illnesses in China over 15 years ago, although cases similar to this are still common.

At the time, he won 3,500 yuan ($515) in compensation and an apology on the clinic's website.

Religious objections to the LGBT+ community are not as strong in China, but the authoritarian conservative politics keep a lot of the community in the closet.

This however has changed in recent years, with growing gay scenes in the larger cities as well as the introduction of a gay pride celebration in Shanghai last month.

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