By DOUG GROSS
Associated Press Writer
May 22, 2005, 5:57 PM EDT
ATLANTA -- Representatives of the nation's top psychiatric group approved a statement Sunday urging legal recognition of gay 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 same-sex marriage "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 gay and lesbian issues.
The document clarifies that the association is addressing same-sex civil marriage, not religious marriages. It takes no position on any religion's views on marriage.
Massachusetts is the only state that allows same-sex marriage. Eighteen states have passed constitutional amendments outlawing same-sex marriage.