Max Hirsh, a gay man from Oregon, has filed a complaint alleging that a therapist attempted to turn him straight without his consent.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed an ethics complaint this month against the doctor on behalf of Hirsh, 22.

Hirsh, a University of Oregon student, told the AP that he started seeing the psychiatrist to help alleviate his depression and improve his social and romantic life. Instead the doctor, whose name was not released, told his client that he was not gay. He added that if Hirsh were indeed gay, then he would need to accept that he could not have a satisfying love life.

“But you're heterosexual,” Hirsh is quoted as recalling the doctor telling him.

“He said 'No,' like he had some extra information about my sexuality that I didn't,” Hirsh said.

The SPLC sent its complaint to the American Psychological Association and the Oregon Psychiatric Association. In it the legal group lays out four ethics violations: Failed to provide “competent medical care” and “uphold the standards of professionalism;” Provided treatment known to present significant risks without establishing benefit specific to that treatment; Failed to provide treatment with informed consent and “make relevant information available;” and Failed to provide care with “compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.”

“No one should have to undergo conversion therapy,” Hirsh said in a statement. “Ethical doctors respect their patients, but by telling me he didn't think I was gay and by reinforcing negative stereotypes about gay people, my psychiatrist was deeply disrespectful of who I am.”

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a group opposed to the “ex-gay” movement, which is centered on “curing” gay people, called such incidents part of a “disturbing pattern.”

“One of the most disturbing patterns we see in reparative therapy is therapists pushing their own ideology at the expense of the patients' mental health,” he said. “This can often traumatize a patient because they see the therapist as an expert who is supposed to help, not cause further harm.”

Christine Sun, the SPLC's deputy law director, said of the complaint: “Our immediate goal is for the APA to take these allegations seriously and ultimately ban conversion therapy by its members.”

(Full text of the complaint.)