In the first ruling of its kind in China, a Beijing court said on Friday that a psychiatric counseling center was in the wrong when it attempted to cure a 30-year-old man of homosexuality with a mix of hypnosis and electric shocks.
Gay rights activists have said they hoped the lawsuit will help put an end to the practice of “gay conversion” therapy in the country.
“We’re incredibly happy,” said Yang Teng, the plaintiff in the case. Mr. Yang earlier told China Real Time (which previously quoted himusing the pseudonym Xiao Zhen) that staff at a clinic in the southwestern city of Chongqing told him they could cure his homosexuality, then put him in a state of light hypnosis and shocked him with electrodes every time he thought of gay sex.
“In her decision, the judge said that homosexuality is not a disease, therefore the clinic had no basis to undertake treatment,” he said. Mr. Yang said the court had ordered the clinic, Chongqing Jinyu Piaoxiang, to pay him 3,500 yuan ($563) in compensation. It also required the clinic to post an apology for offering the treatment on the front page of its website for 48 hours and ordered an investigation whether the clinic’s license was valid.
Search engine Baidu was also named in the suit. The judge ruled the company didn’t have to pay compensation but was urged to be mindful of running advertisements for dubious therapeutic services in the future, according to Mr. Yan.
“Baidu respects the court’s decision,” said Kaiser Kuo, spokesman for the company. “We’re very glad to see justice served, and we share the opinion that unqualified therapy must be very vigilantly regulated. We hope Yang Teng will find some comfort in the court’s ruling.” Read more via Wall St Journal