For the first time in the history of our country a sitting President has publicly announced his personal support for same-sex marriage. The announcement by President Obama, coming off the heels of the disappointing North Carolina vote to ban same-sex marriages through a constitutional amendment, speaks volumes for the marriage equality movement and ignites hope in the LGBT community.
NASW has long held the position that persons of same gender sexual orientation should be afforded all the same rights as persons of other-gender orientation. The Association has worked in a variety of capacities to advance marriage equality including several amicus briefs filed by the Legal Defense Fund. For example, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health in 2002 establishing the right of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts by the highest court in the state, Jackson v. DC Board of Elections and Ethics, in 2010 challenging the proposed referendum to ban same-sex marriage in DC, and Perry v. Brown in 2011 challenging the legality of Proposition 8 in California.
As noted in NASW’s Same-Sex Marriage Fact Sheet, there are more than 1,000 federal protections and responsibilities denied to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families because they cannot legally marry in this country. Without the legal right to marry, for example, members of the LGBT community:
- do not have rights to family health coverage, child custody and medical and bereavement leave,
- cannot file joint tax returns and enjoy income and estate tax benefits,
- cannot assume pension or Social Security benefits in the event of the death of a same-sex partner,
- do not have the automatic ability to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner,
- cannot petition for their same-sex partner to immigrate,
- are not entitled to leave of absence from work to care for a seriously ill partner or parent of a partner,
- can be questioned or challenged through legal means regarding parenting responsibilities of children brought into LGBT families through birth, adoption, surrogacy or other means,
- do not have the ability to purchase continued health coverage for a same-sex partner after the loss of a job.
NASW President, Dr. Jeane Anastas, states, “President Obama’s courage in allowing his political stance on same-sex marriage to evolve to endorsement of full marriage equality is to be celebrated. My wife and I are deeply grateful that our commitments to love, care, and mutual responsibility are being recognized as equal to those of any other married couple. President Obama’s determination to ensure fairness is an inspiration to all of us.”
For more information on NASW’s work on LGBT issues, click here.
I have to agree with George W. I’m a member of NASW. I do not in any way support or agree with Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage. I wish they wouldn’t print this as if everyone agrees. I’m not a conservative either. I totally base this on my strong faith. A faith that supports nature, which clearly supports the FACT that 2 men or 2 women cannot reproduce, therefore it is what ………..unnatural.
I agree with George and Roger. I cannot support same sex marriage. It is against what the Bible teaches and against Christian values. Nor can I support NASW’s stance on this, nor NASW’s endorsement of Obams for reelection. He has done nothing but hurt our nation and needs to be out of office ASAP! Nor do I support NASW’s liberal ideas on many issues.
I am so proud of my professional association… Keep up the fight!
I am both an LCSW-R and Fellow in AAMFT and AAPC in NY and applaud NASW stand on this important equal rights issue. History teaches us if we deny equal rights to any one group we threaten the foundation of equal rights for all.
As Legislative Chair of the NYAMFT we proposed on our lobby day the following definition of marriage for the legislators to consider:
Marriage is a legal, social, and/or religious contract and a co-equal relationship between two human beings who agree to live in a mutually supportive and healthy relationship as they choose to define it and express it.
I cannot support an organization professionally and financially that endorses same sex marriages. We have to take a stand in America. Evidentially your organization has taken a stand to support same sex marriages. I have taken my stand and cannot supports NASW. I have nothing personally against people who are homosexuals or lesbians. However I am against the act of same sex marriages. It goes against everything I believe according to the Bible. I believe it is unfortunate for America that our President has taken such a stand.
Finally someone has the courage and the moral fortitude to do the right thing. Thanks, Mr.President for doing what is right.
Thank you for voicing your opinion and re-joining NASW! It’s important to express our opinions and help the Association realize not all its members vote or think one way.
Yes Virginia, there ARE conservatives in NASW (alongside progressives, apathetics, centrists, fanatics and a variety of others).
As social workers we abide by a Code of Ethics that states that we will work to end discrimination against others based on many immutable characteristics, including sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression, among others. We support and include others regardless of which of these characteristics they have, and regardless of how like us or different from us they may be. This is what it means to be a social worker, and this is what it means to be an American.
It is awesome news that the President supports marriage eqaulity. I hope this will have positive repercussions to all couples, both gay and straight.
Thank you NASW for realizing the magnitude of this important (and truly historic) announcement. Let’s keep the fight alive — one day there will be marriage equality for ALL!
Not all members or Social Workers are in agreement with what NASW dictates, so don’t count me in. I will rejoin NASW, but don’t count me as a supporter.