By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com December 28 2002 1:00 AM ET
Thailand has belatedly acknowledged that homosexuality is not a mental disease, at the request of a leading gay rights advocacy group, the Thai newspaper Nation reported Friday. The Department of Mental Health issued a formal letter stating that homosexuality is neither a mental problem nor a disease, complying with a 1993 World Health Organization decision.
Department director Prawate Tantipiwatanasakul admitted that the agency's move, made at the behest of rights group Anjaree, lags more than 30 years behind academic consensus. "It is simply a different sexual orientation," he told Nation.
Anjaree's research coordinator, Sulaiporn Chonwilai, endorsed the move and said the goal of the group's campaign is to help Thai society accept same-sex relationships.