The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) apologized on Friday (21 June) for previously treating homosexuality as a mental illness.
Dr. Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA, made the apology at the opening session of the group’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego, California.
‘It is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession and say, “We are sorry,”‘ said Jaffe in a statement.
‘It’s hard to admit that one has been so wrong.’
It is thought that APsaA is the first US medical organization to formally apologize for such past actions.
For years, medical organizations have made amends in numerous ways for their treatment of the LGBTI community and its health.
APsaA did not remove homosexuality from its list of medical disorders until 1991 under threat of an anti-discrimination lawsuit. Following this, however, APsaA made moves towards supporting the LGBTI community, such as endorsing marriage equality and taking a stance against conversion therapy.
More amends from medical groups
While no other medical organization has issued a formal apology, they have made amends in other ways.
Several others removed homosexuality from their lists of disorders decades ago. Some important steps forward are still relatively recent, however.
The World Health Organization only removed transgender from its list of mental disorders this year.
India’s largest psychiatrict group removed homosexuality from its list of disorders last year.
In other parts of the world, however, administrations are taking steps backward. Indonesia’s Ministry of Health did not remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, but added it.