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Taking a Stand Against Discrimination


This current state legislative season has brought with it a number of attacks on the equality of members of the LGBT community. Many of our district branches and members have requested that the American Psychiatric Association take a stand against discriminatory legislation by sharing psychiatry’s perspective on these issues. I want to take a moment to share with you how the APA has been involved so far and our plans moving forward.

In the past few weeks, APA has sent or joined with our DBs in sending letters to the governors of Georgia and Mississippi, requesting that he veto respective bills that allowed residents to cite their religious views to deny services to LGBT residents. The Georgia governor has already announced a veto of the bill in his state.

A particularly troubling bill in Tennessee would allow "counselors" to refuse care to LGBT patients some patients on grounds of a religious belief. This seems to be a case where a state is legislating the ethics of a profession, a task that should be left to professional associations, such as the American Medical Association, APA, and the American Counseling Association.

As similar bills arise in other states, the APA is taking an active stance to state our opposition.

Each of these bills runs contrary to the APA’s stance against discrimination, which is rooted in psychiatry’s mission to protect individuals’ mental health. Even though it is likely that these bills will face Constitutional/equal protection challenges in the courts, we believe it is best to address these threats now. I urge you to be vocal in your opposition to any legislation of this kind in your home state, and encourage you to work with your local district branch to oppose any bill that encourages discrimination.

The APA remains firm in its stance that our world should be more inclusive, and we will continue to stand against discrimination in all of its forms. The support of you, our members, is crucial to our efforts and for that I thank you.

What APA is Doing for You

This blog post is part of an occasional series highlighting how APA advocates on your behalf to support the profession of psychiatry and put our interests before key policymakers.


CEO BlogWhat APA is Doing for You


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