- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 22, 2005

ATLANTA (AP) — Representatives of the nation’s top psychiatric group approved a statement yesterday urging legal recognition of homosexual “marriage.”

If approved by the association’s directors in July, the measure would make the American Psychiatric Association the first major medical group to take such a stance.

The statement supports changing the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman “in the interest of maintaining and promoting mental health.”

It follows a similar measure by the American Psychological Association last year, little more than three decades after that group removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

The psychiatric association’s statement, approved by voice vote on the first day of its weeklong annual meeting in Atlanta, cites the “positive influence of a stable, adult partnership on the health of all family members.”

The resolution recognizes “that gay men and lesbians are full human beings who should be afforded the same human and civil rights,” said Margery Sved, a Raleigh, N.C., psychiatrist and member of the assembly’s committee on homosexual issues.

The document says the association is addressing the definition of civil marriage, not religious marriage. It says it takes no position on any religion’s understanding of marriage.

Massachusetts is the only state that performs homosexual “marriages.” Eighteen states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Some of them also take other steps against state recognition of homosexual unions.

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