A 37-year-old gay man has sued a mental hospital in China for allegedly forcing him to receive psychiatric treatment for sexual preference disorder.
A local court in Central China’s Henan Province has accepted the lawsuit filed by him against the Second People’s Hospital of Zhumadian where he was hospitalised for 19 days by his family members on October 8 after he filed for divorce from his wife.
During his time at the hospital he was made to receive injections and take medicines such as antidepressants.
“They did it simply because I am gay,” the man was quoted as saying by state-run Global Times.
“I don’t know how many other people have been treated like this. They must be held accountable,” he said.
He was rescued from the hospital on October 26 by local police, who had been alerted to his plight by a gay rights activist.
Accusing the hospital of violating his personal freedom, the man has demanded an apology and compensation of 10,000 yuan ($1,520).
“The personal freedom of Chinese citizens is protected by law and cannot be infringed upon by hospitals or one’s family members,” said Huang Rui, the man’s lawyer.
The third version of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders, released in 2001, removed homosexuality and bisexuality from the list of disorders, following the lead of the 1980 US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Although homosexuality and bisexuality have been removed from lists of mental disorders, a few clinics in several Chinese cities still claim to be capable of “curing” homosexuality, Huang said.