Beijing: A gay man in central China has successfully sued a mental hospital over forced conversion therapy, in what activists are hailing as the first such victory in the country where the LGBT rights movement is gradually emerging form the fringes.
A court in Zhumadian in Henan province has ordered a city mental hospital to publish a public apology in local newspapers and pay the 38-year old man 5,000 yuan ($735) in compensation, according to a copy of the June 26 judgment seen by the Associated Press.
The man, surnamed Yu, had been forcibly admitted to the institution in 2015 by his wife and relatives and diagnosed with "sexual preference disorder," court documents show. He was forced to take medicine and receive injections before finally walking free after 19 days.
China removed homosexuality from its list of recognized mental illnesses more than 15 years ago but stories are rife of families admitting their relatives for conversion therapy.
Gay rights activists say the case marks the first victory against a public mental institution for compulsory therapy against a patient's will. While few Chinese have religious objections to homosexuality, the country's authoritarian politics and conservative society's preference for marriage and childbearing create subtle barriers that keep most gays in the closet.