Department of Defense Policy on Sexual Orientation and Advertising in APA Publications

Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on August 18, 1991. Superseded by Sexual Orientation & Military Service adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on July 28 & 30, 2004.

WHEREAS the American Psychological Association (APA) deplores discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS APA will not let its publications, as advertising media, be used by others in support of discriminatory employment practices; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) maintains a policy that homosexual orientation is 'incompatible with military service'; and

WHEREAS the DoD will not knowingly admit bisexual, lesbian or gay individuals to military service, including research and clinical internship programs in psychology; and

WHEREAS an average of 1,500 men and women are unfairly discharged from military service each year because their sexual orientation becomes known;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the APA opposes the DoD policy which finds homosexual orientation 'incompatible with military service'; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that APA take a leadership role among national organizations in seeking to change this discriminatory DoD policy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that APA will not permit its publications, as advertising media, to be used by the DoD after December 31, 1992, unless the DoD policy that homosexual orientation 'is incompatible with military service' has been rescinded by that date.

Please cite this archived policy statement as: Fox, R.E. (1992). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1991: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 47, 893-934.

Legal Benefits for Same - Sex Couples

Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on August 16, 1998. Superseded by Sexual Orientation & Marriage adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on July 28 & 30, 2004.

WHEREAS there is evidence that homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgement, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities (Conger, 1975) for individuals;

WHEREAS legislation, other public policy, and private policy on issues related to same sex couples is currently under development in many places in North America (e.g., Canadian Psychological Association, 1996);

WHEREAS the scientific literature has found no significant difference between different-sex couples and same-sex couples that justify discrimination (Kurdek, 1994;1983; Peplau, 1991);

WHEREAS scientific research has not found significant psychological or emotional differences between the children raised in different-sex versus same-sex households (Patterson, 1994);

WHEREAS APA has, as a long established policy, deplored "all public and private discrimination against gay men and lesbians in such areas as employment, housing, administration, and licensing ..." and has consistently urged "the repeal of all discriminatory legislation against lesbians and gay men" (Conger, 1975);

WHEREAS denying the legal benefits that the license of marriage offers to same-sex households (including, but not limited to, property rights, health care decision-making, estate planning, tax consequences, spousal privileges in medical emergency situations and co-parental adoption of children) is justified as fair and equal treatment;

WHEREAS the absence of access to these benefits constitutes a significant psychosocial stressor for lesbians, gay men, and their families.

WHEREAS APA provides benefits to its members' and employees' domestic partners equivalent to those provided to members' and employees' spouses;

WHEREAS psychological knowledge can be used to inform the current public and legal debate on "same-sex marriage" (e.g., Baehr v. Levin);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that APA supports the provision to same-sex couples of the legal benefits that typically accrue as a result of marriage to same-sex couples who desire and seek the legal benefits; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that APA shall provide relevant psychological knowledge to inform the public discussion in this area and assist state psychological associations and divisions in offering such information as needed.

References

Canadian Psychological Association. (1996). Policy statement on equality for lesbians, gay men, and their relationships and families. [Available from the Canadian Psychological Association.]

Conger, J.J. (1975). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1974: Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 30, 620-651.

Kurdek, L.A. (1993). The nature and correlates of relationship quality in gay, lesbian, and heterosexual cohabiting couples: A test of the individual difference, interdependence, and discrepancy models. In B. Greene & G.M. Herek (Eds.), Lesbian and gay psychology: Theory, research, and clinical issues (pp. 133-155). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Patterson, C.J. (1993). Children of the lesbian baby boom: Behavioral adjustment, self-concepts, and sex role theory. In B. Greene & G.M. Herek (Eds.), Lesbian and gay psychology: Theory, research, and clinical issues (pp. 156-175). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Peplau. A.L. (1991). Lesbian and gay relationships. In J.C. Gonsiorek and J.D. Weinrich (Eds.), Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy (pp. 177-196). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Please cite this archived policy statement as: Levant, R. F. (1999). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the Legislative Year 1998: Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives February 20-22, 1998, Washington, DC, and August 13 and 16, 1998, San Francisco, CA, and Minutes of the February, June, August, and December 1998. Meetings of the Board of Directors. American Psychologist, 54, 605-671.

Sodomy Laws and APA Convention

Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on August 11 & 14, 1988. Archived December 2004.

APA reaffirms its opposition to laws criminalizing consensual adult sexual behavior in private and directs the Board of Convention Affairs to consider the presence of such laws as a factor in the selection of future convention sites and in programming.

Please cite this archived policy statement as: Fox, R.E. (1989). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1988: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 44, 996-1028.

Resolution on State Initiatives and Referenda

Adopted by the APA Council of Representatives on August 22, 1993. Archived December 2004.

WHEREAS referenda to limit anti-discrimination legislation as it applies to lesbian, gay and bisexual persons have been proposed in several states and passed in one;

WHEREAS the American Psychological Association has repeatedly stated its position that lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientation should not be the basis for discrimination;

WHEREAS the American Psychological Association deplores the use of scientifically unsound research to support discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Psychological Association opposes the implementation of any state constitutional amendment or statute that prohibits anti-discrimination legislation for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons because there is no basis for such discrimination and such discrimination is detrimental to mental health and the public good;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association directs the chief executive officer to undertake immediate initiative to disseminate scientific information on sexual orientation to the state psychological associations and provide support in their advocacy efforts in the prevention of or challenge to state legislation that prohibits anti-discrimination for lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CEO of the American Psychological Association take immediate steps to disseminate scientific information on sexual orientation to policy makers and to the public and to provide consultation to parties involved in constitutional challenges to legislation that prohibits anti-discrimination for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in those states in which such constitutional challenges are occurring;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CEO of the American Psychological Association will consult with the relevant state psychological association and will immediately consider a motion at the next Board of Directors meeting and the Council of Representatives meeting to neither sponsor meetings nor authorize participation of its representatives in meetings in any state in which a constitutional amendment or statute that prohibits anti-discrimination legislation for lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons has the force of law except when the purpose of the meeting is to work publicly to overturn the law in conjunction with state and local organizations.

Please cite this archived policy statement as: DeLeon, P.H. (1994). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1993; Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives August 19 and 22, 1993, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and February 25 and 27, 1994, Washington, DC. American Psychologist, 49, 586-635.