Lesbian student sues China's education ministry over textbooks calling homosexuality a disorder

By Ella Wong, August 18, 2015

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A university student in Guangdong has filed a lawsuit against China’s Ministry of Education after she found several medical textbooks in her school’s library that define homosexuality as a mental disorder, reports the Global Times.

One psychology textbook, which was included in Guangdong's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) for college textbooks, lists homosexuality as a sexual deviation along with pedophilia, zoophilia and necrophilia.

Despite being published just two years ago, the book recommends four methods to cure the “illness” of not being straight – among them electric shock therapy.  

China removed homosexuality and bisexuality from its national list of psychiatric disorders in 2001.  

A survey conducted last year by Guangzhou-based NGO Gay and Lesbian Campus Association in China found 13 out of 42 textbooks defined homosexuality as an illness or abnormality.

The 20-year-old student, who goes by the pseudonym Qiu Bai, explained why she decided to take action, saying, "When I was experiencing an identity crisis, I tried to seek help by consulting these textbooks. But the wrong information has hurt me as well as other students like me.”

"It is inspiring. It could help erase discrimination against homosexuality in textbooks," said local LGBTQ rights advocate Peng Yanhui.

RELATED: Man sues Chongqing clinic for trying to electrocute the gay out of him

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