Chinese student sues the government over homophobic textbooks

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A student named Qiu Bai decided to chase the Ministry of Education over the textbooks in her university which claim homosexuality to be a disorder which should be cured with electroshock.Even though homosexuality is not defined as a mental health condition since 2001, the textbook published in 2013 said: “Sexual orientation disorder is a sexual psychological disorder that involves being sexually attracted to abnormal objects. It includes pedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia and homosexuality.”

The student explains: “I thought textbooks must be authoritative,… after reading them, I was terrified. I was even more afraid to admit that I’m gay. Homosexuals are already under great pressure. Additional stigma from textbooks will cause direct harm. The ministry should bear the duty to monitor and supervise such content. Speaking from my personal experience, these textbooks would definitely upset gay students,” she said. “And I later learned that gay people across the country have been hurt by this kind of textbook. As someone studying within the education system, when the ministry of education tells me that the education materials have no connection with us and we won’t deal with it, it’s really disappointing.”

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