Shrinks Prescribe Repeal Of Military Gay Ban

APA approves statement that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is harmful

An organization of mental health care professionals asserted its opposition to the military’s ban on gays and lesbians serving openly, and called for its repeal in January. During its winter meeting in New York City, the American Psychoanalytic Association approved a position statement declaring that sexual orientation is “not germane to any aspect of military effectiveness, including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment or retention.”

The statement cites the harmful effects of keeping one’s sexual orientation hidden, as well as the damage of being isolated from loved ones in war time, and the ethical dilemmas the ban poses for the military’s mental health providers.

"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,” said Dr. Ethan Grumback, chair of the APsaA’s Committee on LGBT Issues.

Since the ban was enacted in 1993, nearly 13,000 military personnel have been discharged for homosexuality. Their ranks include linguists fluent in such useful languages as Arabic. The Obama administration has promised to repeal the ban, but according to The Washington Times, it could take until 2010 to confer with Pentagon officials before presenting legislation to Congress.