A Brazilian federal judge's decision to rule homosexuality a disease that can be treated with sexual orientation conversion therapy has drawn anger and condemnation from LGBTQ and mental health advocacy groups, NBC News reported.
Waldemar de Carvalho, a judge in the capital of Brasilia, overturned a 1999 decision of the Federal Council of Psychology that prohibited psychologists from offering treatments to try to cure gay people of their homosexuality, siding with a psychologist who had her license revoked for offering this so-called "conversion therapy."
"It's like allowing a doctor to prescribe cigarettes," said Dr. Daniel Linhares, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "What is proven to help our patients is to help them accept who they are."
Brazilian celebrities have spoken out in criticism of the decision and some groups, including Brazil's National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Alliance and Brazil's Federal Council of Psychology, have said they will appeal the decision at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.