The American Psychoanalytic Association in US on Friday offered a profound apology for previously treating homosexuality as a mental illness, saying its past errors contributed to discrimination and trauma for LGBTQ people.
It may be the first U.S. medical or mental health organization to issue such an apology. Although psychiatrists declassified homosexuality as a disorder in 1973 and psychologists came around nearly 20 years later, the APsaA says it is unaware of any related professional group to have apologized.
”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,’” according a statement by Dr. Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA.
The group uses that abbreviation to distinguish it from the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Jaffe told Reuters he will deliver the apology on Friday at the opening session of the group’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego. Jaffe said his group has long been active in promoting LGBTQ rights but had yet to put its contrition into words.
“It’s hard to admit that one has been so wrong,” Jaffe said.
The change in the medical community’s thinking about homosexuality and Friday’s apology both stem from a seminal event in LGBTQ history 50 years ago: the Stonewall uprising.