Thirty-three years after the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, a Pentagon policy document about retirement and discharge policies classifies homosexuality with mental retardation and personality disorders.
The document was uncovered by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Senior Research Fellow Nathaniel Frank said of the memo: “The policy reflects the department’s continued misunderstanding of homosexuality and makes it more difficult for gays and lesbians to access mental health services.”
Nine lawmakers sent a letter to Donald Rumsfeld on Monday calling for a full review of documents to ensure that no additional documents reflect this error.
Discharges based on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy have risen 11% in the last two years. Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at UCSB, told the New York Blade that 40 percent of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharges are “service members using the policy as their get out of Iraq free card.”
“‘These patterns started showing up even before [Sept. 11, 2001],’ he said. ‘Now that there’s a war on, you could certainly hypothesize there are those who want to avoid the war.’ He said accounts from discharged service members, lawyers and others show just 10 percent to 15 percent of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell‘ discharges involve a gay service member’s involuntary discovery. Belkin said the remaining cases involve service members who seek discharge because they face abuse in their unit, or want out of the military. Researchers believe the number of those cases are equally split, but aren’t sure. Military experts and former service members said’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharges include heterosexual men and women who pretend to be gay to escape the armed forces.”
Pentagon Lists Homosexuality As Disorder [sf chronicle]
You may have missed
Gay Soldier Awarded Purple Heart in Iraq Speaks Out [tr]
Supreme Court Rules on Solomon Amendment [tr]
82nd Airborne Gay Porn Ringleader Faces Court [tr]