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Out-Of-Step Doctor Diagnoses Man's Gayness As 'Chronic Condition'

(Illustration by Mike Elliott/Shutterstock)
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A man was shocked and insulted when his doctor diagnosed him with "Homosexual behavior," and included a now-obsolete code which labeled homosexuality as a form of mental illness.

Earlier this year, Matthew Moore started seeing a Torrance Health Association doctor at her office in Manhattan Beach. His doctor, whom he declines to name, performed a physical. All well and good, until, among his other diagnoses, he saw listed "Homosexual behavior (302.0)," he told NBC4.

"Homosexual behavior" was also listed as a chronic condition on Moore's patient plan. Moore, who is openly gay, said, "When I look up code 302.0 and its sexual deviancy or mental illness, and that code has been removed or suggested heavily not to be used since 1973.

"My jaw was on the floor," said Moore, who lives in Santa Monica.

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He decided to let the doctor explain her decision and couldn't believe it when she insisted that homosexuality is "still being thought of as a disease" and that treatment of it is "still up to debate."

"I was dumbfounded," Moore said. "Government tells us, oftentimes, that we're not equal. Many churches tell us that we're sinners, and now here's a medical professional telling us that we are sick. And it's gotta stop."

He wrote a letter to the Torrance Memorial Physician Network and received an apology. He was also reimbursed for his $30 copay.

Heidi Assigal, senior director of Torrance Health Association, Inc., wrote, "We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality."

Moore said he does not plan to sue the doctor, but he did want to share his experience.

"If I was a 14-year-old in a small town in Indiana, where I'm from, and I had a doctor tell me or my parents that I was sick because they thought I was gay, it would've been very damaging," he told NBC4.