(Reuters) - The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) apologized on Friday 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 psychoanalysts came around nearly 20 years later, the APsaA says it is unaware of any related professional group that had 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,’” said a statement by Dr. Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA. The group uses that abbreviation to distinguish it from the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Jaffe announced the apology on Friday at the opening session of the group’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego, drawing a standing ovation from about 200 people present, witnesses said. Jaffe said his group has long been active in promoting LGBTQ rights but had yet to put its contrition into words.