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LGBT ally and psychiatrist who argued homosexuality isn’t a disorder dies

Lydia Smith April 19, 2019

Richard Green was a pioneering psychiatrist (Wiki Commons)

A pioneering LGBTQ ally and psychiatrist has died at the age of 82.

Richard Green was one of the first psychiatrists to speak out against labelling homosexuality as a mental disorder.

His son, Adam Hines-Green, told the New York Times his father died of esophageal cancer on 6 April at his London home.

In 1972, Green published an article in The International Journal of Psychiatry calling for the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders.

It was removed from the list the following year.

Jack Drescher, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, told the Times: “Those were times when, if you spoke up in support of homosexuals, people immediately thought that you were secretly homosexual yourself, or had unresolved sexual issues.

“Richard was very much heterosexual, and it took a lot of courage to argue for gay people.”

In 1979, Green was a founding committee member of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, now known as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

Green was an advocate of same-sex marriage (Getty)

Green also completed a law degree, which he used to further LGBTQ rights.

In 1962, he testified on behalf of a Nicaraguan man facing deportation from the US for being gay and the man later won the right to remain in the country.

In 1979 he submitted an affidavit in support of two Californian gay men who wanted to adopt a child, during an era when adoption by same-sex couples was effectively banned.

In 1990, he was co-counsel with the ACLU in a case challenging the Boy Scouts for refusing membership to a young gay man in California.

Green was also an early advocate of same-sex marriage, arguing for marriage equality on the television series The Advocates in 1974.

More: Health, History, LGBT history, mental health, Richard Green

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