Sunday, December 21, 2014

Beijing court stops electric shocks in homosexuality correction center

A Beijing court has stopped a psychological center from using electric shock therapy for "conversion" of homosexual persons into "normal people". 

This follows a complaint by a gay person against the counseling center and the Chinese search engine giant Baidu, which publicized the facility. 

This is the first time a court has come to the rescue of a gay person in a "homosexuality correction" case. The Haidian district court has asked the psychological clinic to pay compensation worth $560 to a gay man, Yang Teng, who described himself as a victim of the conversion therapy. 

The court also set the record straight saying homosexuality does not need medical treatment, and there is no need to administer shocks. But the court rejected the suit filed against Baidu for advertising the concerned Xinyu Piaoxiang clinic in the western city of Chongqing. 

The therapy included hypnosis and electric shocks that harmed him both physically and emotionally, Yang said. He had voluntarily undergone the therapy in February following pressure from his parents to marry and have a child, he said. 

The court judgment will help gay rights advocates, who want to stop clinics offering such treatments and persuade parents not to pressure their gay children to undergo therapy. 

"Someone needs to step up because we must stop such severe transgressions," he said. 

In its website, the conseling center claimed it had "outstanding sexual orientation correction skills with high success rates". 

On its part, Baidu has denied that it knowingly advertised services offered by the counseling center. The search keywords and counseling center's website has been removed from the search engine.

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