Blog: APsaA Position Statements Rendered Obsolete

 

APsaA Position Statements Rendered Obsolete

In 2009, the American Psychoanalytic Association called for an end to the discriminatory law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.  Our position statement highlighted our concern that this law enabled continued harassment and discharge of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people from honorably serving in the military.  The law was repealed in 2011, and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs began changing the policies, procedures, and military codes necessary to welcome gay, lesbian, and bisexual citizens to join and serve in the service branch of their choice. 

In 2014, APsaA adopted another position statement, this time commending the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs for their rapid implementation of policies allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve their country openly. The statement also praised the extension of family benefits to same-sex couples and their children.  Additionally, the position statement also encouraged the review of current policies on transgender individuals serving in the United States Armed Forces and the extension of current non-discrimination policies regarding evaluation and promotion to homosexual and bisexual service members.

Since the adoption of the 2014 position statement, non-discrimination protection has been extended to homosexual and bisexual service members, and the policies regarding transgender individuals are currently under review.

Now that these two position statements goals were achieved, APsaA can shift our attention towards new goals. One thing that comes to mind, and was suggested by a gay officer several years before the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, is quite simple: Include academic literature on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives in the curricula of military academies and required reading lists necessary for officer promotion.  I think it is a great idea. 

R. Dennis Shelby, MSW, PhD