The American Psychological Association has updated three LGBTQ-supportive policies to be more inclusive of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, among other things supporting access to the restrooms and other facilities of their choice in public schools.
The updates also expand support for LGBTQ parents and reflect changes in law, such as the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.
“It was important that APA bring these resolutions into line with the latest research because these are areas that are of great interest to psychology,” APA President Sandra L. Shullman said in a press release. “Public attitudes toward LGBTQ people have evolved swiftly in the last several years as well, resulting in legal changes that needed to be reflected in the association’s positions.”
The updates were approved at the APA Council of Representatives’ meeting in Washington, D.C., February 28 through March 1.
A resolution opposing discrimination against LGBTQ parents and children added wording on transgender parents, updating the resolution from its 2004 iteration, Clinton Anderson, director of the APA’s office on sexual orientation and gender diversity, told The Bay Area Reporter. “Resolutions have to stay up-to-date, and the research tends to be consistent: There is no basis to discriminate against LGBT parents,” he said. It also reflects recent research on gay fathers and bisexual parents.
One supporting sexual- and gender-diverse students and school personnel, replacing a 2015 resolution, recommends that all students and workers have access to “gender-segregated facilities, activities, and programs that are consistent with their gender identity,” as the resolution reads. The National Association of School Psychologists plans to adopt a similar resolution.
And a resolution that opposes discriminatory laws and policies, updated from 2007, takes into account research that indicates LGBTQ people’s mental health suffers when their rights are the subject of public debate.
The APA originally endorsed equality back in 1975, when it adopted a position statement opposing antigay discrimination, The Bay Area Reporter notes. This was two years after the American Psychiatric Association, a separate organization, removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.