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Pentagon policy
document lists homosexuality as a mental disorder

Pentagon policy
document lists homosexuality as a mental disorder

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Although homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder more than 30 years ago, a Pentagon document still regards it as such.

Although homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder more than 30 years ago, a Pentagon document still regards it as such. Discovered by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military earlier this month, the document outlining retirement and other discharge policies for service members lists homosexuality as a defect along with mental retardation and personality disorders, the Associated Press reports. "The policy reflects the [defense] department's continued misunderstanding of homosexuality and makes it more difficult for gays and lesbians to access mental health services," Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the University of California center in Santa Barbara, told the AP. The policy in question, called the Defense Department Instruction, is the only Pentagon regulation that considers homosexuality to be a mental disorder. "It is disappointing that certain Department of Defense instructions include homosexuality as a 'mental disorder' more than 30 years after the mental health community recognized that such a classification was a mistake," U.S. representative Marty Meehan, D-Massachusetts, told the AP. Nine Congress members sent a letter to secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld yesterday asking for a full review of all documents pertaining to homosexuality. The American Psychiatric Association decided homosexuality was not a disorder in 1973, and since then all other major health and mental-health organizations have followed suit. James H. Scully Jr., the head of the APA, sent a letter to the Pentagon's chief doctor informing him of that fact, according to the AP. A Pentagon spokesperson told the AP that the controversial document is being reviewed. (The Advocate)

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