A gay Chinese student is challenging
her government over school textbooks that describe homosexuality as a
Gay sex is not illegal in China and
homosexuality was delisted as a mental disorder in 2001.
Twenty-one-year-old Qiu Bai, a student
at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, told
Reuters that “40 percent of the psychology and mental teaching
materials published in the mainland say homosexuality is an illness.”
BBC offered some examples, including suggested treatments for
homosexuality found in Consulting Psychology published by
Guangdong Higher Education Press. According to the text, a gay
person can rid themselves of their attractions by inducing “nausea
with forced vomiting or fear of electrocution when thoughts of having
a lover of the same sex emerge.”
Qiu filed her lawsuit after being
ignored by her university, publishers and a provincial court, which
refused to accept the case.
The Ministry of Education did not send
a lawyer to a hearing held on Monday.
“I think the Ministry of Education
must be pretty confident,” Qiu's lawyer, Wang Zhenyu, said. “But
we had hoped they would hire a lawyer so we could have a proper
“I feel a bit disappointed today,”
Qiu said. “The Ministry of Education needs to state publicly its
point of view on how to present homosexuality. It needs to at least
respond to my petition about these textbook errors and ask publishers
to check if they have made similar errors.”
Qiu added she will continue her
campaign if she was unsuccessful in her case.