A new ruling by a Brazilian judge has approved gay conversion therapy and has prompted widespread outrage and fears of a backlash.

The 1999 law by the Federal Council of Psychology that forbade psychologists from offering treatments that claimed to “cure” gay people was overruled by Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital of Brasilia.

De Carvalho ruled in favour of action brought by Rozangela Justino, an evangelical Christian and former psychologist whose license was revoked when she offered conversion therapy to a client last year.

The decision comes a week after a bank cancelled an exhibition of gay art after protests from evangelical Christian groups which claimed the work promoted paedophilia and zoophilia.

The exhibition was forced to close a month early and the new court ruling has lead to fears that more progressive policies could be overturned.

Much of Brazil’s evangelical Christian population have protested at plotlines in television featuring LGBT characters.

Speaking to the Guardian, Rio de Janeiro’s openly gay politician David Miranda said: “This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LGBT community had in recent decades.”

He added: “Like various countries in the world, Brazil is suffering a conservative wave.”

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