Qiu Bai
Qiu Bai took the Chinese government to court over textbooks describing homosexuality as a 'psychological disorder' GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese woman is suing the country's Education Ministry over a textbook that described homosexuality as a "psychological disorder". A Beijing court accepted the case against the ministry a full year after she was urged to drop the case, Chinese media reported on 16 June.

According to the BBC, 22-year-old Qui Bai originally attempted to sue the ministry in 2015 but was urged to drop the case and issue a complaint instead. Bai, who is gay herself, found the "disorder" reference in 2014 when researching homosexuality at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou.

Bai, 21, told the Sixth Tone: "Textbooks should at least describe homosexuality with objectivity. I don't want discrimination permeating the school I live in and the materials I use every day."

Upon first discovering the reference, Bai had raised concerns with the publishers of the textbooks as well as the Education Ministry, however, her questions were ignored. When she initially attempted to sue the ministry, they urged her to go through their complaints process. However, this received no further response.

In April 2016, Bai issued filed a second lawsuit against the minstry, however, this was rejected by the court. In early June, she filed the third lawsuit, saying that "as a current university student, the plaintiff has a direct interest in the textbook materials".

Homosexuality in China was decriminalised in 1997 and removed from the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders in 2001. However, discrimination against homosexual people in the country has been widely reported on in recent times by international media.

On 14 June, a gay man from northern China sued a psychiatric hospital on the grounds that they attempted to "cure" him of his homosexuality with drugs, confinement and beatings. The 32-year-old claimed that he was held against his will while forced to undergo what doctors called "sexuality correction therapy".