The LGBTQ community continues to experience incidences of prejudice and bias. Not only are these prejudices exemplified in interpersonal interactions through slurs and violent acts but also in the policies maintained in social work agencies and institutions. On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court extended marriage rights to same-sex partners. Since this ruling, the federal government has extended all federal and military/veteran benefits to married same-sex couples. Despite this progress, states continue to debate laws and policies that would legalize forms of discrimination toward LGBTQ individuals. Advocacy organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, provide policy maps showing the different rights provided in different states (see http://www.hrc.org/state_maps). Social workers are expected to fight to eliminate these inequalities throughout communities, programs, and institutions.
To prepare: Consider the following statement:
NASW encourages the adoption of laws that recognize inheritance, insurance, same-sex marriage, child custody, property, and other rights in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender relationships. The Association firmly believes that all federal protections and responsibilities available to legally married people in the United States should be available to people who enter same sex unions (including domestic partnerships, civil unions, and same sex marriages).
Questions to be answered:
1. Submit your reaction to this statement of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
2. Describe what you think is the role of social workers in equal rights and access to LGBTQ populations.