Over the weekend, sunday to be exact, the representative assembly of the American Psychiatric Association voted by voice vote to endorse a proposal from the gay and lesbian council to support legal recognition of same sex couples.

Here is another situation where a professional association abandons its role as a scientific association of professionals and becomes a political advocacy group. Somewhere around 300 psychiatrists will have a role in shaping policy for a 36,000 member group - and not all of those psychiatrists will support the move. So the public will be told by the APA leadership, and dutifully reported in the press, that the profession of psychiatry believes same sex marriage is necessary for mental health reasons.

I am past president of an association called the American Mental Health Counselors Association that does not stand positions regarding issues of conscience or ideology. How refreshing for a professional body to establish what it is about and stick to it.