A government newspaper in China has earned the ire of the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for carrying an article that said homosexuality was "preventable".
The article was published in Yangzhou Evening News, a newspaper affiliated to local government newspaper Yangzhou Daily, on Thursday with the headline "How parents should prevent teenagers from becoming homosexual", according to Global Times.
The article, written by a psychiatrist, suggested people are not born as homosexuals, and urged parents to ensure sexual psychological development of the child.
Statements in the article, including suggestions that homosexuality can be a "destructive blow for the family", has angered the LGBT community.
"The article is filled with wrong information on sexual education," Ah Qiang, founder of PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) China, told the Global Times.
Recent reports have suggested the Chinese society was progressing towards accepting same-sex relations and marriages. Gay marriages are not recognised by Chinese law even though homosexuality was decriminalised in 1997.
Last month, China saw its first case for gay marriage rights after a man moved court over being denied a marriage certificate for him and his male partner.
In a significant step for the fight for gay rights in the country, a local Chinese court accepted the case this week, South China Morning Post reported.
"In China, courts often reject politically sensitive cases, so the fact that the lawsuit is accepted signals some official willingness to address discrimination against LGBT people, which is encouraging," a researcher on China at Human Rights Watch told the paper.
In September last year, a video of a marriage proposal by a man to another man on the Beijing underground train went viral on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.