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Pentagon: homosexuality a defect — just like bet-wetting and fear of flying

Good night. This “upgrade” is so asinine that I can hardly believe it. The military is jumping through hoops to avoid releasing any guidelines that view homosexuality as normal.

The new rules are related to the military’s retirement practices. The change does not affect the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits officials from inquiring about the sex lives of service members and requires discharges of those who openly acknowledge being gay.

The revision came in response to criticism this year when it was discovered that the guidelines listed homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders.

Mental health professionals said Thursday they were not satisfied by the change.

“We appreciate your good-faith effort to address our concern that the document was not medically accurate,” James H. Scully, head of the American Psychiatric Association, wrote David Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. “But we remain concerned because we believe that the revised document lacks the clarity necessary to resolve the issue.”

Among other conditions, homos are compared to those suffering from stammering or stuttering, dyslexia, sleepwalking, motion sickness, obesity, and insect venom allergies. It simply has to end. Are any of the above-mentioned grounds to disqualify one from serving? I hardly think that motion sickness precludes anyone from serving either. This is BS.

The Michael D. Palm Center (formerly the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military) released a statement.

Congressman Marty Meehan and the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association sent letters to the Defense Department this week protesting a recently-revised military instruction which now suggests that homosexuality is a defect. Meehan (D-MA) is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the APA’s are professional associations whose members, combined, include more than 185,000 mental health professionals.

…In this week’s letter, the American Psychological Association asked the Pentagon to revise the instruction again so as to “eliminate the continued stigmatization of homosexuality as a defect.” Meehan said that, “it is my strong belief that homosexuality is in no way a defect and that there is no scientific reason to include it in such a list.” And the American Psychiatric Association, which declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, noted that, “homosexuality is not a defect…but could be construed as one by its inclusion in this section.”

Some military observers suggested that the regulatory revision looks like an effort by the Pentagon to stigmatize gays, since the modification adds the word, “defects” to what had previously been classified as “conditions.” Dr. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Michael D. Palm Center, a research institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said he was surprised by the move. “It is inconsistent with scientific evidence to suggest that homosexuality is a defect,” he said. “That the Pentagon would classify homosexuality this way in 2006 may raise questions about its motives or understanding of gay and lesbian service members.”

Remember, all branches of the military have resorted to lowering standards, including recruiting people with antisocial personality disorder, autism, as well as welcoming in folks convicted of aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats.

Meanwhile, able and ready gay and lesbian servicemembers are stigmatized and marginalized in a time of need.

* Military mess

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding