The death of Charles W. Socarides reminded libertarian lawyer Jonathan Rowe of opposing social factions’ efforts, over the decades, to misuse the concept of “mental illness” to enforce the factions’ preferred moral or social norms.

Rowe says:

[P]roperly understood, categorizing something as a “mental disorder” cuts against the moral and social stigma of that condition, and cuts in favor of social neutrality and civil rights protection of the underlying “disorder.”

Those who would today classify homophobia as a mental disorder might want to reconsider.

As should those who resent the removal of homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM. They forget that politics added homosexuality to the DSM in the first place — and they overlook the privileges that “disordered” homosexuals might enjoy under modern disability laws.

(XGW: Socarides Dies)

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