A Chinese gay man has sued a hospital in Henan province for subjecting him to 19 days of treatment, during which he was tied up to the bed, medicated and threatened with violence, to cure his “sexual orientation disorder”, the media reported on Tuesday.
The man, identified with the pseudonym Yu Hu, was forcibly admitted to the hospital in Zhumadian city in October after he divorced his wife due to his sexual orientation, Xinhua news agency reported.
Yu, 32, was discharged from the hospital after his partner contacted several LGBT rights organisations, who informed the police.
Yu’s lawyer filed a lawsuit in a local court last month for the violation of personal freedom of his client and for the use of violence against him.
“They did it simply because I am gay. I don’t know how many other people have been treated like this. They must be held accountable,” Yu said.
“The personal freedom of Chinese citizens is protected by law and cannot be infringed upon by hospitals or one’s family members. It is against the law to carry out hospitalisation against the patient’s will,” said Yu’s lawyer, Huang Rui.
This is, however, not the first lawsuit against treatments offered by hospitals in China to “correct” sexual orientation.
In 2014, a court in Beijing ordered a cabinet of psychologists in Chongqing city to apologise for trying to change the sexual identity of a gay man.
Although homosexuality is slowly gaining acceptance in the country, which until 2001 considered it a “mental illness”, discrimination against the gay community remains endemic in the country.