Thousands of people attended a demonstration in downtown São Paulo on Friday (September 22) to protest the overruling of an 18-year- ban on gay ‘cure’ therapy.

Last week, judge Waldemar de Carvalho overturned a 1999 law that forbade psychologists from offering treatments that claimed to “cure” gay people. He also allegedly referred to homosexuality as a “disease”.

The protest saw thousands walking through the streets chanting “It’s not a disease” while flying flags and holding signs which called for better human rights for LGBT people in Brazil.

According to the Los Angeles Times, protesters also played anthems such as Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ while marching through the streets.

Carlos Daniel, who helped organise the protest, hoped it would help people see that the decision wasn’t “something small.”

He stated that the ruling will only increase the danger LGBT people face in the country: “These types of thoughts are what get us killed here in Brazil every day. We are dehumanised and treated like objects. We have to show everyone that we exist and that the future is ours.”

Judge Waldemar de Carvalho previously issued a statement saying that his ruling was “misunderstood” and that he doesn’t believe homosexuality is a “disease”.

The ruling sparked widespread backlash with many Brazillian celebrities taking to social media to discuss the decision with the hashtag #curagay.

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