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Attention to same-sex marriage has increased in the past decade. This study examines the perceptions of same-sex marriage among social work faculty. Faculty.
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Supreme Court declined on Thursday to force the city of Philadelphia to resume the placement of children in need of foster care with a Catholic agency that refuses to accept gay couples as foster parents. Five of the nine Supreme Court justices are needed to grant an injunction, but the court is one member short since Justice Anthony Kennedy retired at the end of July. The court is split between liberal and conservative justices. She said she was encouraged that three justices agreed with their position.

The case underscores increasing tensions in the United States between advocates for religious groups seeking exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, and gay rights proponents who say such exemptions would be a license to discriminate. Most payments are assessed based on the combined income and assets of both partners. FIS officers can provide information over the phone, at personal interviews, and through financial-education seminars held in a range of locations across Australia.

To find out more go to the Department of Human Services website. Centrelink social workers are also available to provide counselling, support and referral services as needed.

Movement Advancement Project | LGBT Families

To speak to a Centrelink social worker call 13 or to make an appointment to see a social worker at your local DHS Service Centre go to Department of Human Services website. For more information go to the The Departments website. If you are a parent, or non-parent carer, and have children from a previous same-sex relationship you may be eligible for child support. If you have a child from a previous same-sex relationship you must take reasonable action to obtain child support to get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A for that child.

For more information go to the Child Support Agency website.

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  • Recognition of same-sex relationships?
  • LGBT Families.

A person is regarded a member of a couple if they live with or usually live with their partner, and are either:. Health care professionals, policy makers, and researchers have pointed to the essential role of families in providing care and support and in participating in decision making with regard to care plans. First, gay and lesbian elders may be less linked to their biological families or families of origin. Although many do receive support from their biological families siblings, parents, etc. In these instances, health care professionals who come into contact with gay and lesbian elders with few or no ties to biological family simply assume that they have no one to support them.

This is not true in most cases. Research on gay and lesbian elders have demonstrated that often these elders have larger social networks than their heterosexual counterparts. Having faced rejection from the biological family, gay and lesbian people have often had to seek out friends with whom they can be themselves, be out, and be affirmed.

It is not that these families do not exist, it is that they are unrecognized by health care professionals and systems. These practices result in further isolation of the gay or lesbian elder.

‘My views on gay marriage shouldn’t stop me from being a social worker’

That isolation may be a factor in the lives of older gay men and lesbians, and must be taken into consideration in outreach and care plans. This enforced invisibility both results from and has contributed to a continued lack of exposure to gay and lesbian issues and experiences, and the lack of commitment to developing gay-positive policies and practices directed toward elders themselves Kochman, ; Metz, and their caregivers Aronson, It has also resulted in increased stress on both elderly gay or lesbian people and their families Fredriksen, This article reports the results of a Phase 1 exploratory study undertaken between — in Canada on the experiences and realities facing gay and lesbian seniors in accessing the health care and social service system.

The aim of the study was to generate understanding about the health and social service needs of gay and lesbian elders and their caregivers through an exploration of the perceptions of various professional and activist stakeholders in the community—namely those representing gay and lesbian health community organizations, gay and lesbian seniors organizations, community health and homecare organizations, and elder care policy bodies. The study examined how key informants from both the gay and lesbian network and the mainstream elder care network understand and talk about need and current responses.

The project investigated an area of health equity studies that has been, to date, largely unexplored. Also, this study supported building partnerships between key stakeholders to facilitate development of a large national study on access and equity among gay and lesbian elders and their families. This study is limited to analyses based on gay and lesbian sexual orientation, meaning that the experiences of bisexual and transgender people are not included in the current study.

Although the issues facing these communities are essential to address and have often been identified alongside those of gay men and lesbians, the points of view of both bisexual and transgender people are unique enough to warrant a distinct and separate enquiry. Often times, research that claims to include bisexual and transgender populations alongside gay and lesbian populations is actually focused almost entirely on the experiences of the latter groups.

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This reinforces the marginalized and invisible status of bisexual and transgender people. Given the limited funding available for this study, emphasis was placed on exploring the issues facing gay men and lesbians, both with respect to review of the literature and participant identification. In this context, including bisexual and transgender issues would contribute to a process of tokenization. This study was preliminary in nature, and it is hoped that additional funding can be sought to expand our exploration with bisexual and transgender people in the future.

A focus group design was used to explore the perceptions and understandings of the experiences and realities facing gay and lesbian seniors in Canada from the perspectives of a variety of community stakeholders. Four focus groups were undertaken in three locations across Canada to ensure a national scope to the project: One in Quebec, one in Nova Scotia, and two in British Columbia. Focus groups were composed of gay and lesbian activists working within the community, namely those representing organizations made up of gay and lesbian seniors and their families, health care providers and policy makers within the public health system, and members of various mainstream senior groups, including those representing caregivers.

Current research aimed to develop relationships with local organizations to advance a partnership agenda for future work in the area. Intended as a Phase 1 endeavor, only those people with organizational or group affiliation were invited to attend the focus group discussions. The discussions that resulted were based both on participants' own experiences and perspectives, and those of organizations, agencies, or groups in which they were involved.

Participants were recruited in each location using a snowball sampling technique Neuman, Those representing gay and lesbian organizations, including gay and lesbian seniors groups, were identified through contact with key informants reinforced through identification in local and national gay and lesbian directories. The researchers, themselves active in local and national gay and lesbian research and activist projects, had had much prior contact with many of the individuals approached, which expedited trust-building.

Meeting The Needs Of LGBT Families

Participants representing mainstream long-term care and other health care organizations—including public health departments, homecare agencies, seniors groups, and voluntary sector aging and caregiver organizations and institutions—were identified through key informants in each local setting.

Key informants from gay and lesbian sectors, both locally and nationally, have had much contact with policy and public health bodies, and these contacts were used to identify those who might be willing to participate in focus groups on gay and lesbian aging. All potential participants in focus group discussions were provided with a letter of introduction and information about the project.

A number of organizations did refuse to participate, mostly sighting that they did not work with gay or lesbian elders or that sexual orientation was not an important consideration for their agency.

Financial and Economic Issues

Focus group theory asserts that disparate groups need to be separated out, one from the other, when undertaking focus group discussions. This is particularly important when there is a power differential between these groups that might lead to exposure of marginalized people to further discrimination by those people with more power or control Bryman, At first glance, one might conclude that the design undertaken in the current study is problematic.

Two issues are important to consider in response to this concern. First, although participants from the mainstream elder care sector might have had little familiarity with the issue, these individuals had at least recognized that the issue of accessibility was an important and often ignored issue that needed to be addressed. This suggests some openness to rethinking their particular positions. Second, because organizational representation was a necessary precursor to inclusion in the study, those gay and lesbian people who participated were already identified as willing and able to speak publicly about their experiences in a wide range of environments.

This considerably diminished the risk of exposure in the context of this study.

  • Financial and Economic Issues;
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  • Glassla - Gay and Lesbian Care Services?

In fact, gay and lesbian participants were eager to have the opportunity to engage in discussion across groups, both to exchange information and broaden understanding. All of the gay and lesbian groups or organizations that researchers contacted for inclusion in the study identified a representative to participate. Informal feedback from participants suggested that they were satisfied with the model used. However, there are still several limitations to the mixed-group study design.

The potential exposure inherent in mixing gay and lesbian people with people from mainstream elder care sectors might have resulted in a refusal to participate by those who might feel risk in speaking out. This includes gay and lesbian elders or their caregivers who fear being remarginalized or oppressed by professionals or policy makers from the mainstream elder care network and also professionals who are less aware or who harbor negative feelings about the subject matter who fear being challenged by gay and lesbian activists.

Second, the content of the focus groups may have been limited because of the mixed nature of the groups so that, even though people agreed to participate in the mixed setting, they may have shaped their responses in consideration of the safety of the environment.

Still, given these limitations, the substance of the discussions were rich and complex. Overall, 32 people participated in all four focus groups [8 in Quebec, 6 in Nova Scotia, 9 in Location 1 midsized center in British Columbia, and 9 in Location 2 large urban center ].

Within the four focus groups, 7 participants were from gay and lesbian seniors groups being seniors themselves , 9 were from gay and lesbian health organizations, 3 were from voluntary mainstream organizations including caregiver groups , 8 were from public sector service delivery organizations or institutions, and 5 were from governmental policy bodies. Twenty-one were identified as gay or lesbian. Other demographic data were not collected in this study, and we are not able to identify any other information about participants aside from what is described.

At the time, the focus of analysis was limited to organizational representation as the main interest of this study. This was justified because the goal of the project was to build understanding of organizational or professional perceptions of the issues to substantiate the need for further inquiry. Stemming from this focus on representation, it was decided that identification of sexual orientation would be entirely voluntary. Participants engaged, with investigators, in a tape-recorded group discussion of approximately 2 hr. Informed consent was received from all participants in the study.

The focus group questions and emerging themes were designed to be broad-based and exploratory at this stage. These questions included what services are needed by gay and lesbian elders and their families, how they go about finding these services, what stops people from getting services, and whether or not services meet their needs. Focus group discussions centered on: 1 the perspectives of allies and activists as to the needs and issues facing gay and lesbian seniors and their families, 2 the perspectives of mainstream policy and practice organizations with respect to their knowledge about or current practice with gay and lesbian seniors, and 3 the sharing of gay and lesbian elders' and their families' experiences of care.

This final theme emerged out of discussions and was not pursued directly by research interviewers.