The federal judge ruled in favour of an Evangelical Christian psychologist whose license was revoked for practising "conversion therapy". (Photo: AFP)
Brazil re-legalised "gay cure therapy", overruling a resolution passed almost two decades ago which prohibited the treatment of homosexuals by psychologists.
Judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho is under fire after he deemed homosexuality to be a "disease" and overruled a 1999 resolution by the Federal Council of Psychology which prohibited the treatment of homosexuality.
The federal judge ruled in favour of an Evangelical Christian psychologist, Rozangela Justino whose license was revoked for practising "conversion therapy".
Justino, brought the case to court after her license was revoked in 2016 for offering "conversion therapy". She had previously called homosexuality a "disease", and said she felt "directed by God to help people who are homosexual" and advised her patients to seek religious guidance to "cure" them.
The ruling has been met with backlash from LGBT rights campaigners, psychologists and celebrities.
The Federal Council of Psychology said that it "opens the dangerous possibility of the use of sexual reversion therapies".
The Council pledged to contest the ruling, with president Rogério Giannini insisting they would be successful, having fought off numerous legal challenges in the past.
"There is no way to cure what is not a disease," Giannini told the Guardian. "It is not a serious, academic debate, it is a debate connected to religious or conservative positions."
"This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LBGT community had in recent decades," David Miranda, one of the country’s few openly gay politicians said in an interview to the Guardian.
He added, "Like various countries in the world, Brazil is suffering a conservative wave."
However some of Brazil’s biggest celebrities have come out with statements condemning the ruling including pop star Larissa Machado, also known by her stage name Anitta. In an Instagram post she wrote:
"That’s what happens in my country. People dying, hungry, the government killing the country with corruption, no education, no hospitals, no opportunities … and the authorities are wasting their time to announce that homosexuality is a sickness," she wrote on Instagram.
"The sick ones are those who believe in this grand absurdity," singer Ivete Sangalo another huge musical influence in the country wrote in an Instagram post commenting on the ruling.