Same-Gender Marriage: Implications for Social Work Practitioners

Jennifer Fasbinder, Emily Monson, Darrel Montero, Jaime Sanders, Annie C. Williams

Abstract


Notably, in 2013, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota became the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th states, respectively, to legalize same-gender marriage. Without legal recognition or social support from the larger society, the majority of same-gender partnerships in the U.S. are denied privileges and rights that are considered basic for heterosexual marriages. This manuscript draws from a national cross section of published survey data from 1996 to 2013 reporting Americans’ attitudes regarding same-gender marriage and civil unions. Social work practitioners have broad opportunity to apply their skills to the critical needs facing same-gender partners. After an overview of the legal status of same-gender marriages and their accompanying social and policy issues, recommendations are provided that include identification of specific needs for premarital counseling of same-gender partners and ensuring sensitivity to the myriad challenges they face.

Keywords


Same-gender marriage, same-sex marriage, civil union, marriage equality

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