Intimidating the American Psychiatric Association (APA)

(EXCERPTS from the book: The Born ‘Gay’ Hoax” by Ryan Sorba)


PAGE 1 of 3 -- Intimidating  the APA

 “It was never a medical decision—and that’s why I think the action came so fast…It was a political move.” “That’s how far we’ve come in ten years. Now we even have the American Psychiatric Association running scared.”     (Barbara Gittings, Pro-Sodomy Activist)

Prior to December 14, 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) considered same-sex attraction a disorder. The disorder was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-II (DSM-II) under the label, “Homosexuality.”

… “Scientific opinion” was crucial in the public attitude.

Activist Franklin Kameny states the movement’s objective clearly, “I feel that the entire homophile movement…is going to stand or fall upon the question of whether or not homosexuality is a sickness, and upon our taking a firm stand on it…”[1]

Led by radicals like Franklin Kameny, pro-sodomy activists attacked psychiatrists across America, as Newsweekdescribes:

            “But even more than the government, it is the psychiatrists who have experienced the full rage of the homosexual activists.

... A group of 30 militants broke into a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, where they turned the staid proceedings into near chaos for twenty minutes. ‘We are here to denounce your authority to call us sick or mentally disordered,’ shouted the group’s leader, Dr. Franklin Kameny, while the 2,000 shocked psychiatrists looked on in disbelief. ‘For us, as homosexuals, your profession is the enemy incarnate. We demand that psychiatrists treat us as human beings, not as patients to be cured!’[2] Ironically, at the very moment Franklin Kameny was claiming that sodomy was healthy, safe, and natural a deadly virus was silently passing through communities of men all over the nation. Only a decade later, thousands of men would be dead or dying of AIDS.

On June 7, 1971, Franklin Kameny wrote a letter to the Psychiatric News threatening the APA with not only more, but worse, disruptions. In this letter he states, “Our presence there was only the beginning of an increasingly intensive campaign by homosexuals to change the approach of psychiatry toward homosexuality or, failing that, to discredit psychiatry.”[3]

Barbara Gittings [homosexual activist working to change the APA] said:  … Psychiatrists were one of the three major groups that had their hands on us.Religion and law were the other two groups … So, besides being sick, we were sinful and criminal. …

          Gittings took place in disruptive “zap” attacks on the APA. … “The 1970 convention in San Francisco was disrupted by a group of feminists and gay men …

The “Gay” Militants, a book about that time, adds details, “On May 14, 1970 psychiatrists became the hunted. … By the time the meeting was over, the feminists and their gay cohorts were in charge…and the doctors were heckling from the audience.’”[8]  Pro-sodomy activists took over the podium and microphones. … With two papers still unread, the chairman announced adjournment.”

PAGE 2 of 3 -- Intimidating  the APA

The Advocate reported on other disruptions: PSYCHOLOGISTS GET GAY LIB THERAPY.”

On June 23, 1970, activists disrupted another meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. This time in Chicago, they repeatedly shouted down the main speakers discourse.[11] Again, in October, during a meeting at the University of Southern California, pro-sodomy activists shouted down a speaker and took over the stage and microphone.[12]

Pro-sodomy activists continued to pressure the APA through 1973.

While activists were terrorizing psychiatrists, the APA’s Board of Trustees was being stacked with members sympathetic to persons with SSA. …

“In the APA elections of 1972 and 1973 concern over social issues brought in a number of individuals as members of the Board of Trustees who were committed to change, including removal of homosexuality per se from the official APA nomenclature.”[14]

Dr. Robert L. Spitzer M.D. … was one of the psychiatrists committed to change. During this time Dr. Spitzer organized a symposium which took place at the APA annual meeting in Hawaii and included pro-sodomy political activists. …

Dr. Brill then assigned Dr. Spitzer the assignment of preparing a “scientifically sound” and “persuasive” resolution and memo to be presented to the APA’s Council on Research and Development,

On December 15, 1973 the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association capitulated to the demands of the radicals and adopted Spitzer’s resolution. “The pro-sodomy activists had begun to speak of unyielding psychiatrists as “war criminals,”[16]

In December of 1973 pro-sodomy journalist Andrew Sullivan wrote that the APA, “…under intense political pressureremoved homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders…”[17]

Many members of the APA were outraged at the Board for caving in, and changing psychiatry as a result of political pressure.  They called for a full vote by the APA’s 17,905 members.[19] … Only slightly less than one-third of the APA’s membership approved the change. It should be further noted that the vote was partially controlled by the “National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” (NGTLF).  The “NGTLF” was able to obtain APA member addresses and with-out identifying itself as an organization send out letters to all members urging them to vote to remove “homosexuality” from the DSM. Bruce Voeller, the head of the “NGTLF” admits, “Our costly letter has perhaps made the difference.[20]

But was this vote a scientific decision, or was it a political one? Pro-sodomy historian Enrique Rueda writes, “This vote was not the result of scientific analysis after years of painstaking research. Neither was it a purely objective choice following the accumulation of incontrovertible data.  The very fact that the vote was taken reveals the nature of the process involved, since the existence of an orthodoxy in itself, contradicts the essence of science.”[22]  When activists publicly claim that this vote was a scientific decision they hide three years of deceit and intimidation.

Pro-sodomy activists Kay Lahusen and Barbara Gittings know what really happened to the APA. In the book Making History they are quite open about the reality.

PAGE 3 of 3 -- Intimidating  the APA

Kay: “This was always more of a political decision than a medical decision.”

Barbara: “It never was a medical decision—and that’s why I think the action came so fast. After all, it was only three years from the time that feminists and gays first zapped the APA at a behavior therapy session to the time that the Board of Trustees voted in 1973 to approve removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. It was a political move.[23]

Adopting terrorism as a means, pro-sodomy activists set their vicious sights on Dr. David Reuben …

Denounced him as ‘a criminal’ for his views on male homosexuality. One policeman and a protestor are injured in the melee.”[25]

Apparently, the American Psychological Association also got the message of intimidation when they caved in to the demands of pro-sodomy activists in 1975.

“Under pressure from gay scientific groups, Science magazine banned anti-gay bias in its staff hiring and advertisement.”[27]

One lesson from these facts is unmistakable: every time a scientific group repeats a pro-sodomy talking point, you may, with justifiable skepticism, suspect that these groups are acting out of intimidation. Another unmistakable lesson is that pro-sodomy activists are so desperate to cover their deeply dysfunctional condition that they will stop at nothing to hide the facts about their condition from the public. Award-winning writer and pro-sodomy activist Randy Shilts describes the denial that exists among many men who engage in sodomy, about the reality of their irresponsible and unhealthy lifestyles causing AIDS to be epidemic, when he writes, “…the desperation of denial: how when something is so horrible you don’t want to believe it, you want to out it out of your mind and insist it isn’t true, and how you hate the person who says it is.”[29] Desperate denial; this seems to be what drives the pro-sodomy movement’s deceit, psychological manipulation, and intimidation of scientific groups and other apposing members of society.

[1]The Gay Crusaders, by Kay Tobin and Randy Wicker, p. 98

[2]Newsweek, 8-23-71, p.47

[3]The Gay Crusaders, p. 130-131

[4] Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990: an Oral History by Eric Marcus p.216-217 (–Author Marcus has worked as an associate producer for “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.”)

[5] Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990: an Oral History by Eric Marcus p.221

[6] The Gay Crusaders, p.234

[7] The Gay Crusaders, p.216

[8]The Gay Militants, by Donn Teal, p.272-273

[9] Ibid., p.274

[10] ibid p.275

[11]Ibid., 275

[12]Ibid., pp.276-280

[13]The Advocate, 12-28-93, p.40

[14]Alfred M. Freedman M.D. Psychiatric News, September 2001, Recalling APA’s Historic Step,



[17]Love Undetectable, Andrew Sullivan, 1998, p. 107

[18]The Long Road to Freedom, ed. by Mark Thompsan 1994, p.97

[19]The Long Road to Freedom, ed. by Mark Thompsan 1994, p.104

[20]The Long Road to Freedom, ed. by Mark Thompsan1994, p. 105-106



[23]Making History, p.224

[24]Gay American History, by Jonathan Ned Katz, 1992, p.427. This interview was taped July 19, 1974  

[25]The Gay Decades, by a man that engages in same-gender sex and writer, Leigh W. Rutledge, 1992, p.69

[26]The Long Road to Freedom, pp.115

[27]The Long Road to Freedom, pp.214

[28]Science, 11-1-91, p.630

[29]And the Band Played On, 1988, p. 182