Gay History - December 15, 1973: American Psychiatric Association Vote That Being Gay IS NOT A Mental Illness

Gay History – December 15, 1973: American Psychiatric Association Vote That Being Gay IS NOT A Mental Illness.

Forty-nine years ago today, the American Psychiatric Association made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness.

The board of the American Psychiatric Association unanimously votes to change the classification of homosexuality and removes it from the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” This followed three years of pressure from gay liberation movement. The board bases this decision on its finding that most lesbians and gay men are clearly satisfied with their sexual orientation and show no signs of mental illness. The APA declares that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder.”

Classified as a mental illness thousands of gays and lesbians were committed to mental institutions and suffered horrible torture and indignities such as: lobotomies, electric shock torture, and aversion therapy. These practiced did not stop after the APA’s resolution but certainly slowed it until it was spotlighted as the torture it actually is.

Read the officially adopted Resolution below

Discrimination Against Homosexuals:

  1. The American Psychological Association supports the action taken on December 15, 1973, by the American Psychiatric Association, removing homosexuality from that Association’s official list of mental disorders. The American Psychological Association therefore adopts the following resolution:

    Homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities; Further, the American Psychological Association urges all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations
  2. Regarding discrimination against homosexuals, the American Psychological Association adopts the following resolution concerning their civil and legal rights:

    The American Psychological Association deplores all public and private discrimination in such areas as employment, housing, public accommodation, and licensing against those who engage in or have engaged in homosexual activities and declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon these individuals greater than that imposed on any other persons. Further, the American Psychological Association supports and urges the enactment of civil rights legislation at the local, and state and federal level that would offer citizens who engage in acts of homosexuality the same protections now guaranteed to others on the basis of race, creed, color, etc. Further, the American Psychological Association supports and urges the repeal of all discriminatory legislation singling out homosexual acts by consenting adults in private.

Citation: Conger, J.J. (1975). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1974: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 30, 620-651.

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