NEW YORK — The American Psychoanalyst Association has apologized for treating homosexuality as an “illness.”
Reuters reported on Friday that the APsaA declassified homosexuality as a disorder in 1993, 20 years after the American Psychiatric Association had done the same. The news service said it may be the first time a medical association has apologize for its past treatment of the LGBTQ community.
”It is long past time to recognize and apologize for our role in the discrimination and trauma caused by our profession and say, ‘We are sorry,’” said a statement by Dr. Lee Jaffe, president of APsaA. The group uses that abbreviation to distinguish it from the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Jaffe announced the apology on Friday at the opening session of the group’s 109th annual meeting in San Diego, drawing a standing ovation from about 200 people present, witnesses said. Jaffe said his group has long been active in promoting LGBTQ rights but had yet to put its contrition into words.
“It’s hard to admit that one has been so wrong,” Jaffe said.
One Los Angeles-based analyst said the audience interpreted the moment as significant.
“As someone who comes from a long line of analysts who have been fighting for LGBT people, this felt like a watershed moment,” Dr. Justin Shubert said.