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Gay man gets compensation over forced 'gay cure' therapy in China

2017-07-04
A gay Chinese man has won a lawsuit against a mental hospital after he was forced to undergo so-called gay conversion therapy. The man, known only as Yu, was confined to a hospital for 19 days in 2015 after being taken there by family members including his wife. He was diagnosed with "sexual preference disorder" and subjected to forced injections and other medical procedures. Last month, a court in China's Henan province ruled that the man was wrongly hospitalised, and instructed the hospital to print an apology in local newspapers and pay Yu £570 in compensation. The court did not make a judgement on the practice of conversion therapy, merely stating that the hospital's actions were "infringing on the plaintiff's right to individual freedom." Homosexuality was considered to be a mental disorder until 2001 in China. The case is the first successful prosecution against a hospital for forced conversion therapy in China. In 2014, activist Peng Yanhui checked himself into a clinic offering electroshock therapy as a 'cure' for homosexuality in order to investigate its practices. After his ordeal, Peng sued the clinic and won compensation of $500. Peng told the AP that Yu's victory "confirmed the illegality of forced treatments." He continued: "It's time for China to enact laws to prohibit forced gay conversion therapy." A 2015 Channel 4 documentary revealed that illegal ‘gay cure’ therapies are still being offered in local Chinese hospitals. Hidden camera footage shot for Channel 4's Unreported World shows two activists pretending to be potential 'customers' and having consultations with doctors; saying they want to be cured of homosexuality.