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FW: [OneAlabama] American Psychiatric Association Supports Gay Marriage

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  • William J. Freeman
    ... From: OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Rick James Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 3:38 PM To:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2005
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com]On
      Behalf Of Rick James
      Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 3:38 PM
      To: OneAlabama@yahoogroups.com
      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
      lesbian issues.

      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
      the institution.

      "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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