Forty-four years ago today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) — the largest psychiatric organization in the world — made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness. This declaration helped shift public opinion, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ equality.
The resolution stated, “We will no longer insist on a label of sickness for individuals who insist that they are well and demonstrate no generalized impairment in social effectiveness.” The statement continued to say the APA supports “civil rights legislation at local, state, and Federal levels that would insure homosexual citizens the same protections now guaranteed to others.”
Now, more than 40 years later, LGBTQ advocates are still fighting to achieve that reality. Despite significant steps forward, 31 states still lack clear, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, meaning that LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, denied housing, and denied services for who they are or whom they love.
That’s why HRC is fighting to pass The Equality Act, which would provide consistent and explicit federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service.
In recent years, the APA has continued to advocate for LGBTQ people, including forcefully opposing the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” and opposing the Trump-Pence Administration’s ban on qualified transgender people serving in the military.