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China court hears first case on gay 'conversion therapy'

Published on Jul 31, 2014 3:31 PM
Xiao Tie, executive director of the Beijing LGBT Centre, pretends to inject a patient with a mock syringe during a protest outside the Haidian District Court in Beijing on Thursday, July 31, 2014, as the court began hearing a landmark case on "gay conversion" treatment. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - A Beijing court began hearing a landmark case on "gay conversion" treatment on Thursday, as an activist in a nurse's uniform knelt over a patient, wielding a giant needle, outside.

"Homosexuality doesn't need to be cured!" chanted about a dozen supporters. "Haidian Court, oppose conversion therapy!"

Homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder in China in 2001 but widespread intolerance toward gays and lesbians remains, and activists hailed the unprecedented case as a significant step forward.

The plaintiff, who is gay and has given his name only as Xiao Zhen, says the Xinyu Piaoxiang clinic in Chongqing traumatised him when he was electroshocked after being told to have sexual thoughts involving men.

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