Pentagon Says Homosexuality Not Mental Disorder
The Defense Department has decided that homosexuality is not a mental disorder but merely a condition akin to bed-wetting.
Pentagon guidelines that classified homosexuality as a mental disorder now put it among a list of conditions or “circumstances” that range from bed-wetting to fear of flying. 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 guidelines outline retirement or other discharge policies for service members with physical disabilities. The rules include sections that describes other specific conditions, circumstances and defects that also could lead to retirement, but are not physical disabilities. Among the conditions are stammering or stuttering, dyslexia, sleepwalking, motion sickness, obesity, insect venom allergies and homosexuality.
“More than 30 years after the mental health community declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, it is disappointing that the Pentagon still continues to mischaracterize it as a ‘defect,’ said Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Aside from the rather perplexing thirty-odd year lag in revising their stance on mental health and homosexuality, this would seem to have a rather odd implication. One would think gays discharged from the military on those grounds would be entitled to tax-free disability pay for the rest of their lives. My guess is that this is just bad reporting, though, as I’ve never heard of a soldier being chaptered out for being overweight and then collecting benefits as a result.