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Psychoanalysts Approve Position Statement on Homosexuals and Bisexuals Serving in the Military

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Though it's not widely known, psychoanalysts as a professional group are proactive on a number of social issues including homosexuality. During the organization's Winter 2009 Meeting held January 14 - 18 in New York, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) approved a position statement regarding homosexuals and bisexuals serving in the military.

"President Obama has said that he will repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. 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. Evidence shows the presence of gays does not undermine unit cohesion. 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," commented Ethan Grumbach, Ph.D., chair of APsaA's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.

The position statement begins as follows:

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

"It is the position of APsaA that sexual orientation is not germane to any aspect of military effectiveness, including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment or retention. Empirical evidence, as well as comparative data from foreign militaries and domestic police and fire departments shows that when lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are allowed to serve openly there is no evidence of disruption. APsaA recognizes and abhors the many detrimental effects the policy has had on individual service members, the military and the United States society since the enactment of Title 10, section 654 in 1994. 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." (The full position statement and references continue online.)

The American Psychoanalytic Association is a professional organization of psychoanalysts throughout the United States and is comprised of approximately 3,300 members.

SOURCE American Psychoanalytic Association
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