The Australian Psychological Society strongly supports the recent apologies from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition leader Matthew Guy to people convicted in the State for homosexual acts.
APS President Mike Kyrios says, “We strongly support this apology by the State Government, and we also acknowledge that the legal system was not the only sector in which homosexual people were not treated correctly. Psychology and the mental health sector were involved in practices that we now recognise weren’t in the best interests of homosexual people.”
“As psychologists, we regard people as intrinsically valuable and respect their rights, including the right to autonomy and justice. We know the damage caused by stigma and discrimination and that all people deserve respect and equal rights under the law but also within the health and mental health systems.”
He added: “Psychologists have a high regard for the diversity and uniqueness of people. There is no basis for prejudice or discrimination. As indicated by the apology, but not limited solely to people convicted of homosexual acts, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians are part of our community and should be treated equally.
“In recent decades, the Society has shown support for LGBTI people and gathered research evidence to help fight stigma and discrimination on key issues,” he said.
The Australian Psychological Society recognises the rights of LGBTI people, supporting marriage equality (since 2011) and same-sex parenting, and arguing against gay conversion programs.
“Equality is critical to ensuring the wellbeing of all Australians, and that we have a cohesive society in which all people are respected,” Prof Kyrios said.
For more information, or to arrange an interview call the APS Media team on 03 8662 3358 or 0435 896 444, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find the APS Media team on Twitter: @AustPsych
The APS is the largest professional organisation for psychologists in Australia, representing more than 23,000 members. The APS is committed to advancing psychology as a discipline and profession. It spreads the message that psychologists make a difference to people’s lives, through improving psychological knowledge and community wellbeing.