Chinese man wins compensation from clinic that gave him 'gay conversion' electric shock therapy

Yang Teng was awarded compensation by a Chinese court following electric shock treatment to 'cure' him of his homosexuality

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The Independent Online

A Chinese court has ordered a clinic to pay compensation to a gay man who underwent electric shock conversion treatment intended to make him straight.

Yang Teng, 30, will receive 3,500 yuan (£360) to cover costs incurred, and an apology from the clinic in Chongquing, in the southwest of the country, which claimed it could “cure” him of his homosexuality.

It has been hailed as a landmark ruling in the conservative country by gay rights campaigners.

The case was brought against the Xinyu Piaxiang clinic in a Beijing court, which ruled that administering electric shocks was illegal and unnecessary, as homosexuality did not require treatment.

Mr Yang said he did not expect the court to decide in his favour, but was very satisfied with the result.

“The court sided with me, and it has supported that homosexuality is not a mental disease that requires treatment,” he said.

 

Following the ruling he claimed that the therapy, which included hypnosis as well as electric shocks, harmed him both physically and emotionally.

He said he had agreed to the treatment after his parents pressured him to marry and have a child.

According to Mr Yang, the verdict will help gay rights advocates to urge clinics to stop offering the conversion treatments and encourage parents to stop pressurising their children to undergo therapy.

He added: “Someone needs to step up because we must stop such severe transgressions.”

The lawsuit had asked for compensation of more than 14,000 yuan (£1,440), to cover the cost of the therapy, travel, lost earnings and damages; but the court declined to award damages.

While homosexuality is legal in China, and has been since 1997, it is still considered by many a problem to be fixed.

The country’s one-child-policy and societal expectation puts pressure on young people to marry and have children to continue the family line.

Attitudes are changing, however. Homosexuality was removed a list of mental illnesses in 2001 and Shanghai now holds an annual gay pride event.

Additional reporting by AP

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