According to DSM II (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), homosexuality was a mental disease. It was listed as a ‘sexual deviation’ and so found itself an unwilling bedfellow of paedophilia.
How did this change? Was it, for example, as a result of painstaking research?
It was changed in 1974 at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (publishers of the DSM). When the issue was put to the vote 5854 psychiatrists voted to remove homosexuality from the list of mental diseases, 3810 voted to retain it. As a result, homosexuality was not listed as a mental disease in DSM III or subsequent editions.
So there we have it. What constitutes a mental disease or disorder can be decided by a show of hands. There’s nothing like democracy, right?