China’s ministry sued for terming homosexuality as ‘disorder’

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) A college student in China is suing the education ministry for describing homosexuality as a “disorder that should be treated”.

The female college student in south China’s Guangdong Province used the alias Qiu Bai when filing the case to prevent exposure of personal information, reported Xinhua news agency.

Qiu’s frustrations began when she sought answers on her doubts about her sexual orientation at a library. Almost every book she consulted categorized homosexuality as a mental disorder, with some even suggesting electroshock therapy to cure the “disease”.

On May 14, Qiu wrote to the Ministry of Education (MOE), asking them to clarify what regulations were in place to supervise such content.

However, her request received no response in the required limit of 15 days. She responded with a lawsuit against the ministry.

“Homosexuals are already under great pressure. Additional stigma from textbooks will cause direct harm. The MOE should bear the duty to monitor and supervise such content,” Qiu said.

Her application has been received by the Beijing Municipal No.1 Intermediate People’s Court and is pending further procedure.

Roughly 40 percent of 90 textbooks published after 2001 prescribe treating homosexuality as a disorder. Half of the textbooks insist its a disease that can be cured through therapy, according to an investigation by NGO Gay and Lesbian Campus Association.

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