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A university student is suing China’s education ministry over textbooks that refer to homosexuality as a disorder, the New York Times reported.

Chen Qiuyan, a 20-year-old student at a university in southern Guangdong province, launched the legal action earlier this month after she finding the books which suggest gay people could be “cured” with electroshock therapy in her university library. A court in Beijing has accepted the case, which she filed under an alias.

“Homosexuals are already under great pressure,” says Ms Chen, who has spoken to the New York Times using her real name.

“Additional stigma from textbooks will cause direct harm. The ministry should bear the duty to monitor and supervise such content.

“I thought textbooks must be authoritative. After reading them, I was terrified. I was even more afraid to admit that I’m gay.

“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.”

China stopped categorising homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001.

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