China: First Lawsuit Against Gay Conversion Therapy

A Chinese gay man is taking legal action against a gay conversion therapy clinic and China’s top search engine for being traumatised following electro-shock therapy.  The shock treatment was administered after he was told to think about men.

The gay man, giving his name as Xiao Zhen, is suing Xinyu Piaoxiang clinic, located in Chongqing, saying he was traumatised after the electro-shock treatment, and is also suing the top Chinese search engine, Baidu, for running advertisements about the clinic.

Outside the court, one supporter, dressed as a nurse, leaned over a mock patient with a huge hypodermic needle, while other supporters chanted:

“Homosexuality doesn’t need to be cured. Haidian Court, oppose Conversion Therapy!”

The legal action is being backed by the Beijing LGBT Centre.  Xiao Tie, executive director of the centre, stated: “In China, most people who undergo Conversion Therapy do so because they are pressured by their family”. Those who undergo the treatment say they are cured only to stop the electro-shock treatment, which has been outlawed in many countries.

Although homosexuality was decriminalised in China in 1997, LGBT groups still aren’t allowed to register as NGO organisations.


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