Brazilian federal court judge Waldemar de Carvalho has overturned an almost 20-year-old ban on “gay conversion therapy,” now allowing homosexuality to be treated as a “disease.”
De Carvalho's decision reverses a 1999 Federal Council of Psychology, CFP, ruling that banned licensed psychologists from attempting to “convert” people who identify as LGBTI.
Evangelical Christian and psychologist Rozangela Justino brought the case to court in 2016, after her medical license was revoked under the 1999 decision. She was accused of practicing conversion therapy because she was "directed by God to help people who are homosexual,” Paper magazine reported.
“This decision opens the dangerous possibility to the use of sexual reversion therapies,” the CFP President Rogerio Giannini said in a statement.
“There is no way to cure what is not a disease.”
Echoing the CFP’s position, Rio de Janeiro Councilor David Miranda described the decision as a setback.
“This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LBGTI community had in recent decades,” said Miranda, who is also the partner of investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald.
“Brazil is suffering a conservative wave,” he added, referring to last year's takeover of the Brazilian presidency by right-wing leader Michel Temer, who ousted former progressive President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazilian popstar Larissa Machado also denounced the ruling, criticizing officials for “wasting their time to announce that homosexuality is a sickness” while “people are dying.”
“Who is the real sick person here?” she asked.
Brazilians immediately began a #curagay (cure homosexuality) hashtag ridiculing the court's ruling.