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“Like various countries in the world, Brazil is suffering a conservative wave.”

Brazil is often thought of as one of South America’s most LGBT-friendly countries. However, in a worrying move, a Brazilian judge has just overruled the existing ban on gay “conversion therapy”, which has been in place for 18 years.

Waldemar de Carvalho overturned the 1999 ruling by the Federal Council of Psychology which forbid psychologists from offering any treatments aiming to “cure” homosexuality.

The judge ruled in favour of evangelical Christina psychologist Rozangela Justino, who describes homosexuality as a “disease”. She has her licence revoked in 2016 because she was offering to “convert” gay people.

In 2009 she told the Folha de S Paulo newspaper: “I feel directed by God to help people who are homosexual.”

Openly gay Brazilian politician, David Miranda, told The Guardian:

“This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LGBT community had in recent decades. Like various countries in the world, Brazil is suffering a conservative wave.”

The Federal Council of Psychology made a statement, saying this decision “opens the dangerous possibility of the use of sexual reversion therapies.” It promised to contest the ruling legally.

Council member Rogério Giannini commented: “There is no way to cure what is not a disease.”

Brazilian pop star Larissa Machado took to Instagram to express her dismay, writing: “That’s what happens in my country. People dying, hungry, the government killing the country with corruption, no education, no hospitals, no opportunities …And the authorities are wasting their time to announce that homosexuality is a sickness.”

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