The Suyu District Intermediate Court in the city of Suqian said the description of homosexuality under “common psychosexual disorders” – along with cross-dressing and fetishism – results from “perceptual differences” and was not a factual error, according to documents seen by Reuters.
The ruling upheld a previous judgment made in September last year against the plaintiff Ou Jiayong, also known by the pseudonym Xixi.
Xixi, 24, first encountered the psychology textbook while studying at the South China Agricultural University in 2016. She told the New York Times that she was “deeply stung” when she read the textbook as she identifies as a lesbian.
Xixi sued the publisher of the textbook and the online retailer that stocks it in 2017, demanding the texts remove the reference and publicly apologise.
But her legal battle has ultimately been unsuccessful. Xixi told the South China Morning Post that the court’s decision about what constituted a “factual error” was “random and baseless”. She believed the evidence that she provided to the court was enough to prove the description of homosexuality as a mental disorder was wrong, but said the ruling could be a way to “reduce controversy”.
“But it [the ruling] has also allowed textbooks that pathologise homosexuality to continue circulating, which is a pity,” Xixi said.