Pentagon Document Classifies Homosexuality as a Mental Disorder
A Pentagon document that surfaced this week classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder, grouping it with retardation and personality disorder. The document has outraged medical professionals, psychologists, and members of Congress, who disagree with this labeling and its discriminatory undertones. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Psychological Association have both written letters condemning this classification, while nine members of Congress have asked for a full review of the document and policy.
The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which first called attention to this classification, points out that this document was re-certified as “current” in 2003, despite the fact that the APA removed homosexuality from DSM-IV-TR (the definitive guide to mental health classifications) over 30 years ago. Dr. Steven Samuels, a social psychologist who has worked with the military, suggests that this classification is not scientifically derived, but socially and politically motivated. According to CSSMM, he stated that, “to classify homosexuality with mental retardation, impulse control, and substance abuse, shows at best an ignorance of basic psychology and at worse a purposeful intolerance and discriminatory practice that is incompatible with the high values of the military.”
The Pentagon maintains a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with regard to closeted homosexuals and prohibits openly gay women and men from serving at all. Within the last year, 726 military members were discharged under the “don’t ask” policy, signaling the first increase in dismissals since 2001. In response to the recent criticism, a Pentagon spokesman said the document is currently under review.
Media Resources: Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at UC Santa Barbara 6/20/06; Associated Press 6/20/06; Department of Defense Instruction: Physical Disability Evaluation 11/14/06
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .