Monday, December 3, 2012

Around The Nation

American Psychiatric Association Approves Revision To Manual Removing Term “Gender Identity Disorder”
ARLINGTON, VA -- The board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association, meeting this past Saturday in Arlington, VA voted to approve the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — the bible of psychiatry, with a significant change that removes the term “Gender Identity Disorder” and replaces it with the term “Gender Dysphoria.”
This marks a significant change in the professional nomenclature referring to the transgender community, which had been classified as suffering from a mental disorder.
Speaking to LGBTQNation via phone from Long Beach, California, where she is attending a conference, Mara Keisling, the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that the Trustees action was an "amazing step forward and while not perfect, is a huge improvement for diagnosis and treatment."
LGBT Blogger and political analyst Zack Ford noted:
"Until now, the term “gender identity disorder” has been used to diagnose people who are transgender. For conservatives, this has provided rhetorical carte blanche to describe the entire trans committee as disordered, delusional, and mentally ill. In some cases, this diagnosis has even been used to discriminate against trans people, with claims that they are unfit parents or employees, as examples."
A possible shortcoming of the APA decision which Ford also points out is that insurance companies have been more willing to cover the expenses associated with transition under this language, because treatment for a disorder is considered medically necessary, rather than cosmetic.
Homosexuality was similarly declassified as a mental disorder in 1973 by the APA after significant lobbying efforts by gay rights pioneers Dr. Frank Kamney and Barbara Gittings.
The DSM, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is an enormous tome that defines every mental disorder. The definition will diagnose transgender people with “Gender Dysphoria; the emotional distress that can result from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.” This will allow for affirmative treatment and transition care without the stigma of disorder.
The APA's governing board earlier this past year had released new health guidelines for transgender patients, and an accompanying "position statement" that specified affirmation for proper transgender care and civil rights.
Maine To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licences Dec. 29th
AUGUSTA, ME -- According to Maine's Secretary of State's office, the certified election results including the ballot measure that legalised same-sex marriage were signed off on by Maine's GOP governor  Paul LePage last Thursday. Under Maine statutes, the measures will take effect thirty days afterwards.
“The long wait for marriage for same-sex couples in Maine is almost over,” said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. “Before the end of this year, all loving and committed couples in Maine will be able to stand before their friends, family and community and make a lasting vow to be there for one another.”
Maine became the first state to allow committed same-sex couples to receive a marriage license through a popular vote of the people, which also was followed by ballot measures approved by voters in Washington and Maryland.

Washington State
County Clerk In Washington Holds Lottery For Same-Sex Marriage Licences
OLYMPIA, WA --  The marriage laws in Washington State will change Thursday, December 6, allowing same-sex couples to obtain a marriage license. Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman held a lottery on Monday, in order to choose ten couples, out of fifteen who had requested to receive their licenses at 12.01am Thursday.
Wyman told the Associated Press; ”This is a historic event in Washington… we’re very excited and we want to commemorate that event, and we look forward to giving all of these couples a license.”
King County, which includes Seattle, also plans to start issuing licenses at that time but did not stage a lottery. Couples there will begin lining up at 10 p.m. Wednesday, and the county will issue licenses from 12:01 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
Because of a three-day waiting period in Washington, the first day that the marriage certificates can actually be signed at wedding ceremonies is Sunday.
Last week, Washington State’s Department of Health said it is currently reviewing the text displayed on marriage certificates, to bring the text in line with recently introduced equal marriage law.


Trab said...

Couples will begin lining up at 10 p.m. Wednesday? WTF? What do they think, that the law will be revoked by 8 a.m. the next morning. Surely you don't need to get a certificate just after midnight. Geesh!