FW: [OneAlabama] American Psychiatric Association Supports Gay Marriage
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From: OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com]On
Behalf Of Rick James
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 3:38 PM
Subject: [OneAlabama] American Psychiatric Association Supports Gay
Psychiatric Association Calls For Gay Marriage Recognition
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 23, 2005 12:01 am ET
(Atlanta, Georgia) Representatives of the nation's top psychiatric
group approved a statement urging legal recognition of same-sex
unions, on Sunday.
The statement, if approved by the association's directors in July,
would make the American Psychiatric Association the first major
medical group to take such a stance.
The statement, approved on a voice vote, supports same-sex marriage
and benefits "in the interest of maintaining and promoting mental
The psychiatrists approved the statement Sunday, the first day of the
APA's weeklong annual meeting in Atlanta.
The vote goes beyond the association's 2000 statement supporting same-
sex civil unions and continues a history of recognizing "that gay men
and lesbians are full human beings who should be afforded the same
human and civil rights," said Margery Sved, a Raleigh, N.C.,
psychiatrist and member of the assembly's committee on gay and
The position paper cites the "positive influence of a stable, adult
partnership on the health of all family members." It says the lack of
access to health insurance, pension payments, death benefits and
other rights for same-sex couples hurts the stability of their
relationships and their mental health.
The document clarifies that the association is addressing same-sex
civil marriage, not religious marriages. It takes no position on any
religion's views on marriage.
A clear majority of the assembly's roughly 250 members present Sunday
approved the measure.
Joseph Berger, a psychiatrist from Toronto, Canada, voted against it
for what he called political reasons. He cited gay marriage votes in
several states last year where voters overwhelmingly sided against
"It's very unusual for an organization like ours to take on an issue
so contrary to where public sentiment is," he said. "It's a little
bit like poking your finger in the eye of the public when so much of
the public seems to be against it."
Forty states bar same-sex marriages, including some that prohibit
same-sex couples from enjoying many of the legal protections that
heterosexual couples enjoy.
Last year, Georgians voted 3-to-1 for a constitutional amendment
defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Some psychiatrists
pushed a boycott of this week's conference because of the vote, but
most APA members opted to attend, officials said.
Other mental health groups have adopted similar positions on gay
marriage in the past year. In July, the American Psychological
Association adopted a position statement that said research showed
that discrimination based on sexual orientation "detrimentally
affects the psychological, physical, social and economic well-being
of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals."
©Associated Press 2005
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