Chinese man wins lawsuit over forced gay conversion therapy

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A man in Henan province has recently won a legal battle against a psychiatric hospital for the forced gay conversion therapy it performed on him.

The man, surnamed Yu, was forcibly admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Zhumadian by his wife and relatives in 2015, after his wife discovered he was gay. The hospital took Yu in and diagnosed him with “sexual preference disorder” without running through an examination. Yu was forced to take medicine and receive injections for 19 days before his friends and LGBT activists helped him to get out. Six months later Yu decided to sue the psychiatric hospital, and the case was filed on June 13th, 2016.

The case recently came to a close, with the court ordering the hospital to publish a public apology in a local newspaper and pay Yu Hu 5,000 yuan (around $735) as compensation. However, the court did not comment on the practice of gay conversion therapy. Instead, it stated that “forcing Yu into a mental institution when he did not pose a danger to himself or others amounted to infringing on the plaintiff’s right to individual freedom”.

The plaintiff expressed satisfaction with the result. He said he hoped that at the very least the trial’s result and the apology from the hospital could make more people understand that “homosexuality is not a disease”.