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Chinese Court Rules Against Gay Conversion Therapy

  • VOA News

Yang Teng holds a statue depicting a goddess of justice and a flag symbolizing gay pride as he arrives at court in Beijing, Dec. 19, 2014.

Yang Teng holds a statue depicting a goddess of justice and a flag symbolizing gay pride as he arrives at court in Beijing, Dec. 19, 2014.

A Chinese court has ruled a psychological clinic must pay damages to a gay man after treating him with electroshock therapy in an attempt to make him heterosexual.

The Beijing court on Friday ruled that the clinic must pay Yang Teng 3,500 yuan, or $562, and post a public apology on its website for the so-called conversion therapy. Yang said in his lawsuit that the shock treatments traumatized him.

In the case, thought to be the first of its kind in China, the court also ruled that the shocks were unnecessary because homosexuality does not require treatment.

In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Yang said was "very satisfied with the results, which I didn't expect. The court sided with me, and it has supported that homosexuality is not a mental disease that requires treatment."

Yang, like many other gay men in China, faced pressure from his family to marry and have children. In February, he submitted voluntarily to the treatment, which included hypnosis and shock treatments.

China declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001, but the country has no laws to protect gay people's rights.

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