In Destructive Trends in mental health, respected veterans of the mental health industry Rogers H.Wright and Nicholas A.Cummings sought to educate consumers, practitioners, and policy makers about a variety of recent issues and trends that have significantly changed the mental health fields in America. They got established and revered practitioners to write chapters which explore these important issues. The following regarding the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in 1973 was written as a matter of verifiable fact:
“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association yielded suddenly and completely to political pressure when in 1973 it removed homosexuality as a treatable aberrant condition. A political firestorm had been created by gay activists within psychiatry, with intense opposition to normalizing homosexuality coming from a few outspoken psychiatrists who were demonized and even threatened, rather than scientifically refuted. Psychiatry’s House of Delegates sidestepped the conflict by putting the matter to a vote of the membership, marking for the first time in the history of healthcare that a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis was decided by popular vote than by scientific evidence…”(page 9)
The stonewall riots: To understand why the APA was under tremendous political pressure to remove homosexuality from the DSM, you have to understand the history of the homosexual rights movement. The stonewall riots probably marked the outward beginnings of the movement. It was a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations and riots by the gay community against a police raid on a gay pub in 1969. The speed at which the activists groups form and organized immediately after the stonewall incident was breathtaking. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, and three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians. Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U.S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York commemorating the anniversary of the riots.
In this year (1970), same-gender sex activists began a program of intimidation aimed at the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Activist Frank Kameny states the movement’s objective clearly, “I feel that the entire homophile movement…is going to stand or fall upon the question of whether or not homosexuality is a sickness, and upon our taking a firm stand on it…” (The Gay Crusaders, by Kay Tobin and Randy Wicker, p. 98)
In 1970, psychiatrists generally considered sexual desires toward members of one’s own gender to be disordered. Karoly Maria Kertbeny’s term, “homosexual” was the official descriptor for those inflicted by this mental-physical disassociative disorder. Psychiatry’s authoritative voice influenced public opinion, which at the time was negative toward same-gender sex. Of course, public sexual activity in parks and public restrooms contributed to societies negative views about the types of people that did such things, but “scientific opinion” was crucial in the public attitude.
Led by radicals like Frank Kameny, same-gender sex activists attacked many psychiatrists publicly, as Newsweek describes, “But even more than the government, it is the psychiatrists who have experienced the full rage of the homosexual activists. Over the past two years, gay-lib organizations have repeatedly disrupted medical meetings, and three months ago—in the movements most aggressive demonstration so far—a group of 30 militants broke into a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, where they turned the staid proceedings into near chaos for twenty minutes. ‘We are here to denounce your authority to call us sick or mentally disordered,’ shouted the group’s leader, Dr. Franklin Kameny, while the 2,000 shocked psychiatrists looked on in disbelief. ‘For us, as homosexuals, your profession is the enemy incarnate. We demand that psychiatrists treat us as human beings, not as patients to be cured!’” (Newsweek, 8-23-71, p.47)
Dr. Ronald Bayer, a pro-homosexual psychiatrist has described what actually occured in his book, Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnoses. (1981)
In Chapter 4, “Diagnostic Politics: Homosexuality and the American Psychiatric Association,” Dr. Bayer confirms that the first attack by homosexual activists against the APA began in 1970 when this organization held its convention in San Francisco. Homosexual activists decided to disrupt the conference by interrupting speakers and shouting down and ridiculing psychiatrists who viewed homosexuality as a mental disorder. In 1971, homosexual activist Frank Kameny worked with the Gay Liberation Front collective to demonstrate against the APA’s convention. At the 1971 conference, Kamney grabbed the microphone and yelled, “Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you.”
Homosexuals forged APA credentials and gained access to exhibit areas in the conference. They threatened anyone who claimed that homosexuals needed to be cured. Kamney had found an ally inside of the APA named Kent Robinson who helped the homosexual activist present his demand that homosexuality be removed from the DSM. At the 1972 convention, homosexual activists were permitted to set up a display booth, entitled “Gay, Proud, and Healthy.” Kameny was then permitted to be part of a panel of psychiatrists who were to discuss homosexuality.
Against a backdrop where homosexuals were gaining public sympathy and growing louder in voice and bolder in pressure lobbying, Destructive Trends in mental health reports:
“Bayer describes one instance in 1972 in which the New York Gay Activist Alliance organized a protest during a conference of the Association for the Advancement of Behaviour Therapy. The protesters called for “an end to the use of aversion techniques to change the natural sexual orientation of human beings”… the activists gained access to one of the conference rooms during a presentation in front of a large audience that included Dr Robert Spitzer, then a member of the APA’s Nomenclature Committee. This was the first time Spitzer had been confronted with homosexuals demanding changes in psychiatry’s conceptualization of homosexuality. Apparently, impressed by the passion and arguments of the protesters, Spitzer arranged for a formal presentation of their views to the Nomenclature Committee.”
Same-gender sex activists continued to pressure the APA through 1973. A same-gender sex magazine, The Advocate, talks of “…what happened in 1973…referring to the widespread protests by the gay and lesbian community that led to the APA’s dropping homosexuality from the DSM.” (The Advocate, 12-28-93, p.40) As a result of the pressure, in the words of the prominent journalist and same-gender sex activists, Andrew Sullivan, in December of 1973 the APA, “…under intense political pressure…removed homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders…” (Love Undetectable, book by Andrew Sullivan, 1998, p. 107) Under this “intense political pressure” the APA’s board of trustees finally caved in to the demands of same-gender sex activists. Another same-gender sex activist Mark Thompson writes, “Just before the first of the year, the American Psychiatric Association’s board of trustees declared we were no longer sick.” (The Long Road to Freedom, ed. by Mark Thompsan1994, p. 97)
Spitzer was to become the one to spearhead APA’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. (Yet interestingly, he undo his “hero” status among the homosexual community when some 28 years later, he argued in a paper that it is possible for highly motivated individuals to successfully change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.)
Here are the chain of events:
- 1973 – Board of Trustees of The American Psychiatric Association (APA) approves the deletion of homosexuality from the DSM-II and substitutes a diagnosis of “sexual orientation disturbance.” Intense discussion and debate followed.
- On Dec 15 1973, the Board of Trustees of the APA voted to delete homosexuality altogether from the DSM. Opposition from several psychiatrists immediately followed. A referendum on the Board’s decision was called.
- 1974 – the entire membership of the APA was polled for their support or rejection of the Board’s decision.
- Total APA members eligible to vote: 17,905
- Number of APA members that actually voted: 10,555
- Number of members that “Abstained”: 367
- Number of “ No” votes-votes to keep “homosexuality” in the DSM as a mental disorder: 3,810
- Number of “Yes” votes-votes to remove “homosexuality” from the DSM as a mental disorder: 5,854
It should be noted that the number of “Yes” (5,854) made up only 32.7 percent of the total membership of the APA. Only slightly less than one-third of the APA’s membership approved the change. It should be further noted that the “National Gay Task Force” was able to obtain APA members addresses and the “NGTF” (with-out identifying itself) and they sent creepy letters to all members urging them to vote to remove “homosexuality” from the DSM. Bruce Voeller, the head of the NGTF admits, “Our costly letter has perhaps made the difference.” (The Long Road to Freedom, ed. by Mark Thompsan1994, p. 105-106) Dishonesty and intimidation had won the day for the same-gender sex movement, and when activists publicly claim that this vote was a scientific decision; they hide three years of deceit and intimidation.
In same-gender sex publications, however, activists are remarkably candid about the reality of the vote. For example, Kay Tobin Lahausen, co-author of The Gay Crusaders describes a variety of activism. “We did all sorts of protests…When the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations came out of some meeting and got in his big black limousine, I remember going crazy, rocking and beating on the limousine…He had never been besieged by a bunch of homosexuals before. But he had said something that got us going.” (Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990: an Oral History by Eric Marcus p.216-217) (–Author Marcus has worked as an associate producer for “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.”)
Lahausen’s lover, Barbara Gittings was a well known activist during this time as well. Gittings was the first head of the American Library Association Gay Task Force, although she was not a librarian her objective was to bring books advocating the same-gender sex movement to the attention of librarians in hopes of having them included in libraries. At one American Library Association meeting Gittings set up a same-gender kissing booth, to attract attention to the same-gender sex. Gittings tells about her activism against the APA. “Besides the ALA, I was also very involved, along with many other people, in efforts to get the American Psychiatric Association… to drop its listing of homosexuality as a mental illness. Psychiatrists were one of the three major groups that had their hands on us. They had a kind of control over our fate, in the eyes of the public, for a long time. “Religion and law were the other two groups that had their hands on us. So, besides being sick, we were sinful and criminal. But the sickness label infected everything that we said and made it difficult for us to gain any credibility for anything we said ourselves. The sickness issue was paramount.” (Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990: an Oral History by Eric Marcus p.221)
Gittings took place in the disruptive attacks (“saps”) on the APA. She states, “I am not opposed to sap tactics. In fact, I spearheaded a sap at a psychiatrists meeting and I’m ready to do it again.” (The Gay Crusaders, p.234) Barbara Gittings recounts, “The 1970 convention in San Francisco was disrupted by a group of feminists and gay men who were enraged by what the psychiatrists were saying about them—and newspapers all around the country carried the story” (The Gay Crusaders, p.216). The “Gay” Militants, a book about that time, adds details, “On May 14, 1970 psychiatrists became the hunted. An invasion by the coalition of ‘gay’ and woman’s liberationists interrupted the national convention of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco to protest the reading of a paper by an Australian psychiatrists on the subject of ‘aversion therapy,’ a system of treatment which attempts to change gay orientation by keying unpleasant sensations (such as electric shocks) to homosexual stimuli. By the time the meeting was over, the feminists and their gay cohorts were in charge…and the doctors were heckling from the audience.’” (The Gay Militants, by Donn Teal, p.272-273)
Same-gender sex activists took over the podium and microphones. Then, “Konstantin Berlandt, of Berkeley GLF, paraded through the hall in bright red dress. Paper airplanes sailed down from the balcony. With two papers still unread, the chairman announced adjournment.” (Ibid., p.274) On June 23, 1970 same-gender sex activists disrupted yet another meeting, this time in Chicago, be repeatedly shouting down the main speakers discourse. (Ibid., 275) Then, in October at a meeting at the University of Southern California, same-gender sex activists shouted down a speaker and then took over the stage and the microphone. (Ibid., )
Kay Lahusen and Barbera Gittings know what really happened to the APA. In the book, Making History they are quite open about the reality.
Kay: This was always more of a political decision than a medical decision.
Barbara: It never was a medical decision—and that’s why I think the action came so fast. After all, it was only three years from the time that feminists and gays first sapped the APA at a behavior therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973 to approve removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. It was a political move.” (Making History, p.224)
According to Dr. Jeffery Satinover in ‘Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth’, “How much the 1973 APA decision was motivated by politics is only becoming clear even now. While attending a conference in England in 1994, I met a man who told me an account that he had told no one else. He had been in the gay life for for years but had left the lifestyle. He recounted how that after the 1973 APA decisiion, he and his lover, along with a certain very highly placed officer of the APA Board of Trustees and his lover, all sat around the officer’s apartment celebrating their victory. For among the gay activists placed high in the APA who maneuvered to ensure a victory was this man–suborning from the top what was presented to both the membership and the public as a disinterested search for truth.”
Dr. Charles Socarides has set the record straight on how homosexuals inside and outside of the APA forced this organization to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder. This was done without any valid scientific evidence to prove that homosexuiality is not a disordered behavior.
Dr. Socarides, writing in Sexual Politics and Scientific Logic : The Issue of Homosexuality writes: “To declare a condition a ‘non-condition,’ a group of practitioners had removed it from our list of serious psychosexual disorders. The action was all the more remarkable when one considers that it involved an out-of-hand and peremptory disregard and dismissal not only of hundreds of psychiatric and psychoanalytic research papers and reports, but also a number of other serious studies by groups of psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators over the past seventy years…”
Socarides continued: “For the next 18 years, the APA decision served as a Trojan horse, opening the gates to widespread psychological and social change in sexual customs and mores. The decision was to be used on numerous occasions for numerous purposes with the goal of normalizing homosexuality and elevating it to an esteemed status.”
“To some American psychiatrists, this action remains a chilling reminder that if scientific principles are not fought for, they can be lost–a disillusioning warning that unless we make no exceptions to science, we are subject to the snares of political factionalism and the propagation of untruths to an unsuspecting and uninformed public, to the rest of the medical profession, and to the behavioral sciences.” Dr. Socarides’ report is available from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality: www.narth.com.
The DSM(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the most widely used disgnostic reference book utilized by mental health professionals in the United States. It’s a manual by which all diagnostic codes are derived for diagnosis and treatment – every single physician (an estimated 850,000*) in the United States refers to this book in order to code for a diagnoses. In plain English, what does this mean? It means that for over 30 years physicians have been prevented from properly diagnosing homosexuality as an aberrant behavior and thus, cannot, recomend a treatment for these individuals.
Prior to that time, homosexuality had been treated as a mental disorder under section “302. Sexual Deviations” in the DSM-II. Section 302 said, in part: “This category is for individuals whose sexual interests are directed primarily towards objects other than people of the opposite sex, toward sexual acts…performed under bizarre circumstances… Even though many find their practices distasteful, they remain unable to substitute normal sexual behavior for them.” Homosexuality was listed as the first sexual deviation under 302. Once that diagnostic code for homosexuality was removed, physicians, including psychiatrists, have been prevented from diagnosing homosexuality as a mental disorder since 1973.
After the APA’s vote, Gittings was interviewed by a historian of the same-gender sex movement, Jonathan Ned Katz. Gittings brags, “That’s how far we’ve come in ten years. Now we even have the American Psychiatric Association running scared.” (Gay American History, by Jonathan Ned Katz, 1992, p.427. This interview was taped July 19, 1974). Anytime a scientific organization endorses same-gender sex, remember Gittings words: “They are running scared.” Same-gender sex activists have learned that intimidation works and they are never hesitant about using intimidation, psychological manipulation and deceit to reach the goals of their radical agenda.
Later in 1974, same-gender sex activists set their vicious sights on an individual member of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. David Rueben, who was perhaps the best-known psychologist in the area of human sexuality at the time. Unbeknownst to Dr. Reuben, same-gender activists were lying in wait outside one of his lectures, and his physical safety was at risk. A same-gender sex activist and writer, Leigh Rutledge describes the attack in her book The Gay Decades, “June 16, A fist fight broke out at a Philadelphia playhouse when ten gay activists interrupt a lecture by Dr. David Rueben and denounce him as ‘a criminal’ for his views on male homosexuality. One policeman and a protestor are injured in the melee.” (The Gay Decades, by a man that engages in same-gender sex and writer, Leigh W. Rutledge, 1992, p.69) On that same page, this book tells us that, “The Centers for Disease Control estimate that gay or bisexual men account for as much as one-third of the syphilis cases in the U.S.”
Apparently, the American Psychological Association also got the message of intimidation, because they caved in to same-gender sex activists in 1975. In the book, The Long Road to Freedom the author writes, “January…The American Psychological Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science echoed the American Psychiatric Association in deeming homosexuality not an illness.” (The Long Road to Freedom,) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) publishes the scientific journal Science, intimidation by same-gender sex activists was over for them. “Under pressure from gay scientific groups, Science magazine banned anti-gay bias in its staff hiring and advertisement.” (The Long Road to Freedom, )
Could the AAAS have been thinking about “pressure from gay scientific groups” when they published the poorly done studies by LeVay (“gay” brains) and Hamer (“gay” gene)? Two scientists who protested the LeVay study raise serious questions about AAAS, Science, and same-gender sex activists. “The appearance of LeVay’s paper highlights a serious issue in science public policy. Should such a study, based on a questionable design, with subjects drawn from a small, highly selected and non-representative sample, receive the kind of international attention and credibility that publication in a journal with the stature of Science lends?” (Science, 11-1-91, p.630)
If Dr. LeVay was not able to draw a proper sample and to fulfill other basic requirements for a scientific study, why did he conduct the study at all? If the study was not done for scientific reasons it must have been done for political reasons. Indeed, LeVay’s study was part of a public relations campaign, (the born “gay” hoax) to make the public believe that individuals were born “gay.” Science, a supposedly reputable publication, must have been intimidated to risk their own legitimacy by published such shoddy work. When unethical political movements dominate science, pushing science in unscientific directions, science suffers and leads society astray. One lesson from these facts is unmistakable: every time a scientific group repeats the same-gender sex movement’s propaganda, you may justifiably suspect that these groups are acting out of ignorance or intimidation.
Another lesson is that same-gender sex activists are so desperate to cover their deeply dysfunctional condition that they will stop at nothing to hide the facts from the public. Award-winning writer and same-gender sex activist Randy Shilts describes the denial among men that have sex with men, about their unhealthy lifestyles causing AIDS to be epidemic among them when he writes, “…the desperation of denial: how when something is so horrible you don’t want to believe it, you want to out it out of your mind and insist it isn’t true, and how you hate the person who says it is.” (And the Band Played On, 1988, p. 182) Desperate denial –this seems to be what drives the deceit, psychological manipulation, and intimidation of both scientific groups and the public.
The author of Destructive Trends in mental health was right to conclude:
“Diagnosis today in psychology and psychiatry is cluttered with politically correct verbiage, which seemingly has taken precedence over sound professional experience and scientific validation.”
Explaining how it is possible that intellectual openness, scientific inquiry, aspiration towards diversity, and freedom from political pressure that once flourished in the American Psychological Association has been eclipsed by an “ultra-liberal agenda,” the author describes:
“The field of psychology is severely fractionated into almost sixty formal divisions and fifty state associations, which compete for seats on the organization’s governing body, the Council of Representatives. Originally intended as units organized around special interests and concerns within psychology, they have become power bases and self-interest groups that fiercely vie against one another for the limited number of seats on the Council of Representatives in order to influence the course and commitments of the APA.”
Ok, so homosexuality’s removal from the DSM is not scientifically sound. What about conversion therapy? Page 17 of Destructive Trends in mental health writes:
“Although the APA is reluctant or unable to evaluate the questionable practices and has thus avoided addressing the issue of best practices, this did not prevent its Council of Representatives in 2002 from stampeding into a motion to declare the treatment of homosexuality unethical. This was done with the intent of perpetuating homosexuality, even when the homosexual patient willingly and even eagerly seeks treatment. The argument was that because homosexuality is not an illness, its treatment is unnecessary and unethical… Vigorously pushed by the gay lobby, it was eventually seen by a sufficient number of Council members as runaway political correctness and was defeated by the narrowest of margins.”
Perhaps this excerpt from the preface of the book best describes the lack of Americans’ trust in the APA; their absurdity; and their own undermining of reputation and integrity due to a lost of scientific credibility.
“Political diversity is so absent in mental health circles that most psychologists and social workers live in a bubble. So seldom does anyone express ideological disagreement with colleagues that they believe all intelligent people think as they do. They are aware that conservatives exist but regard the term intelligent conservative as an oxymoron… This bubble is so encapsulating that psychologists were shocked when the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States censured the APA for publishing in one of its journals a meta-analysis and interview study of college students who had been molested as children. The publication challenged the notion that these experiences had been deleterious, setting off a firestorm led by radio talk show host “Dr. Laura” Schlessinger, which culminated in the APA being the only professional society in the history of America to be censured by the Congress… They blame Dr. Laura and her powerful allies in the Congress, but the finger pointing fails to note that the condemnation was unanimous in both the House and the Senate. It further fails to note that not one of psychology’s traditional friends voted against the resolution, and even the two psychologist members of the House abstained rather than vote nay. The humiliation was complete.”
The facts clearly showed that homosexuality’s removal from the DSM is unsupported by scientific evidences but is the result of incessant lobbying, pressure tactics and threats – something our Singapore’s society faces today as well.