Intended for healthcare professionals


Judd Marmor

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 19 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:466

Psychiatrist who changed the view of homosexuality as a mental disorder

When Judd Marmor's patients didn't fit the textbook theory that homosexuality was an illness, he thought perhaps the theory was wrong.

In 1973, as a prominent and heterosexual psychiatrist, he became a leader in the struggle that led to the removal of the definition of homosexuality as an illness from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, changing a position it had held for nearly a century. The following year he was elected president of the association, one of many posts he held during a long career.

Dr Marcia Goin, clinical professor of psychiatry at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and current president of the American Psychiatric Association, was a student, colleague, and friend of Marmor. She recalls, “What was really, really important with Judd was his openness to new things. Freud was very open; he listened to patients and if it didn't fit, he dismissed the theory. Judd kept his mind open to his 93rd year.” …

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