[It was not that many years ago – until 1987 – that the APA classified homosexuality as a mental illness.]
The advisors are the 250 representatives in the APA's Assembly. Five years ago, they recommended and the board passed support for civil unions. The key idea behind both is that discrimination is bad for mental health.
This weekend's amplification was evolutionary, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
In the wake of Vermont's adoption of civil union and Massachusetts' same-sex marriage, it became clear that the two notions are not equal, said psychiatrists who voted for gay marriage.Yet while a sizable majority of the shrinks approve, some are gun-shy and not too eager to offend. The article quotes a West Virginia psychiatrist F. Joseph Whelan as saying, "Marriage has a lot of Judeo-Christian connotations" attached..."Many of us did not see it was appropriate for APA to be a vanguard to change that."
Same-sex marriage supporters say a civil union is tailored by each state, comes with fewer benefits and is not recognized by other states with the same measure. Marriage, theoretically, is recognized universally even though states do not accept Massachusetts' approval of gay marriage at the moment.
"Civil unions are more restrictive to strengthening the couple and family. They're not transportable. Marriage is transportable from state to state, from country to country," said Jack Drescher, a New York City psychiatrist in charge of the assembly's committee on gay issues...
Those many were outvoted.