“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Should Go To …

By: Gay.com
1.28.2009

Took a while to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (aka DSM-IV). At least American psychoanalysts are quicker off the mark with a proactive position on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) released a position statement on Tuesday formulated at the organization’s Winter 2009 meeting in mid-January, It supports and asserts that President Obama’s stated plan to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as military policy is a positive step for the mental health of all individuals concerned.

 APsaA’s position states sexual orientation is irrelevant to military effectiveness, unit cohesion, morale, recruitment or retention. Ethan Grumbach, Ph.D. and chair of APsaA's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, said, “For the mental health and safety of those in the military and for those who are contemplating joining the military, this repeal needs to happen now. Tens of thousands of gays, lesbians and bisexuals already do serve openly. Discharging gays, lesbians and bisexuals wastes thousands of highly trained, badly needed troops."

The military policy mandated by Title 10 (Section 654) of the United States Code prohibits an individual's military service on the basis of sexual orientation, specifically banning openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals from serving in the military. APsaA strongly advocates that the United States Government overturn this current policy.

APsaA recognizes the harmful impact this policy has had on individual members, the military and American society since the 1994 ratification of Title 10, section 654. Years of psychological research and experience have shown the extensive mental toll of keeping one's sexual orientation hidden. Mandating a ban on self disclosure of sexual orientation for personnel in uniform is thus unnecessarily harmful to their mental health and well being. Furthermore, evidence and data from foreign and domestic militaries, police, and fire departments show no evidence of disruptions in said service when gay men, lesbians, or bisexuals serve openly.

The American Psychoanalytic Association is a professional organization with a  membership of approximately 3,300 psychoanalysts across the United States.

Click here for more on this, including the full position statement and references.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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