BEIJING — A gay Chinese man said last week he was suing a psychological clinic for carrying out electric shocks intended to turn him straight, as well as the search engine giant Baidu for advertising the center, the Associated Press reports.
The Beijing LGBT Center, which campaigns for gay rights, said it was the first court case involving so-called conversion therapy in China. China declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001.
The center’s executive director, Xin Ying, said some professional hospitals in China, as well as smaller private clinics, still provide conversion therapy and that the group hopes the case at the Haidian District People’s Court in Beijing will lead to a ban on the therapy, the AP article says.
Yang Teng, 30, told the Associated Press that the therapy given to him included hypnosis and electric shock and he was left physically and mentally hurt. He said he voluntarily underwent the therapy in February following pressure from his parents to get married and have a child.
“My hometown is a small city, people there still care about carrying on the family line,” Yang was quoted as having said, adding that now he can finally accept his homosexuality.
His lawyer, Li Duilong, said Yang was suing the Chongqing Xinyu Piaoxiang clinic for infringing his personal and health rights because they told him electric shock treatment was not dangerous but then harmed his health. He also said that Baidu bore joint liability because it carried its advertisement, the AP said.
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