Same sex marriage has become so prevalent in our society and is still becoming more rampant as the years goes by; same sex became available on the 20th of July 2005, some shocking statistics which was stated in the Canadian encyclopedia has proven this to be true, it states that after same-sex marriage became available on 20 July 2005, the 2006 census was the first to collect data on legally married same-sex couples. It showed there were more than 45,000 declared same-sex couples in Canada, and that 16.5 per cent of those were married.
By the time of the 2016 census, there were 72,880 declared same-sex couples 0.9 per cent of the total number of couples and 33.4 per cent of those same-sex couples were married. That represents a tripling in the number of married, same-sex unions across the country of Canada between 2006 and 2016, this is an example to show how rapid same-sex marriage has become widespread in only one country. According to the summary article from the Encyclopedia of gender and society, same sex marriage is the union of two people of the same sex that is sanctioned by the state. The term is often deployed to talk about legally registered same-sex civil unions or cohabitation. In everyday usage the term is sometimes employed to donate unregistered same sex partnerships that have been marked by commitment ceremonies.
In a world where we are all different people and have free will to choose, counselors as much as clients do have their own beliefs and are also diverse individuals, counselors and clients do have their own core values even though this may be conflicting at times. According to onlinelibrary.wiley.com counselors‐in‐training who hold religious beliefs that conflict with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) affirmations present a complex dilemma for educators and supervisors. In recent years, law suits filed by such trainees against their educators or supervisors (e.g., Ward v. Wilbanks,2010), along with various states’ laws protecting religious freedom (see U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2016), have further complicated this dilemma. Those working with non-affirming trainees frequently grapple with questions such as, “What can we do when a trainee's refusal to work with LGBT clients is rooted in religious values?” (e.g., Bieschke& Mintz,2012); “Can counselors work effectively with gay clients while privately believing homosexuality is wrong?” (e.g., Kocet&Herlihy, 2014); “Can we expect trainees to engage in genuine self‐reflection about their religious beliefs while being evaluated by educators or supervisors?” (e.g., McCutcheon &Imel, 2019); and “Are there situations in which a value clash is not merely developmental, but an indication that the trainee is unsuited for the counseling field?” (e.g., Mintz et al.,2009. These are some of the delicate conflicting issues that are taking place in society among our counselors and clients and some of the questions that are being asked which are very challenging issues but at the end of the day, it is really the initiative that we take to address these problems that will determine each outcome. Concerning the question that has been asked if a counselor can work effectively with gay clients while privately believing homosexual is wrong, yes, it is possible because it is about helping that person with having boundaries knowing what you believe but not taking on their personal lives.
There is solid proof in the Bible that God is against same sex marriage and doesnot condone sexual immorality, he gave us all a free will to choose but the Bible is a guide to help us to live a life pleasing to him whether, values, personal beliefs, tradition or culture differs we are to be subjected to God’s law and his ways. In Leviticus 18 and 20 it clearly states that, “you shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination”. (Leviticus 18:22). It also states that If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13). Genesis also speaks about Sodom and Gomorrah where a lot of immoral behavior was taking place including homosexuality and he destroyed it. In Matthew 19 verses 4-5 Jesus also reaffirmed, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one?” this scripture is clear that God made man and woman to be joined together as he made Eve for Adam in the garden of Eden. Even though the Bible stated all these things, it never denounced hatred towards the people, God loves them but hate their sinful ways, it is the sin that he hates and not the people and so therefore we should treat persons of same-sex marriage as such, as human beings even though we do not condone the behaviour. In John 8 verses 4-11 when Jesus was on earth, he forgave an adulterous woman, he never condemned her for what she did, but he asked where her accusers were. Who that was without sin should cast the first stone, so they left cause they all had sinned and all he told her was to go and sin no more, this was depicting mercy to a sinful woman, Jesus still defended her and did not let her punishment came to pass because of her sinful action so we too as helpers can become that agent of change and not discriminate or condemn but to be compassionate as humanitarians.
People of same-sex marriage has been discriminated against and stigmatized, as counselors and social workers, we too have biases even though sometimes we do not recognize them until something is been discussed and we may become aware of them. As mentioned before, we too like God should embrace these persons with sympathy as counselors and social workers by showing care towards them in terms of advocating for them and empowering them. As long as they are not trying to impose their beliefs on the counselor or trying to get personal then it is ok to continue the process of counseling those clients. My belief as a social worker is that not everyone may feel comfortable to counsel persons of same-sex marriage, and so that too should be respected because of one’s own choice, values and preferences, so if it is a case where a counselor does not feel comfortable in counseling those persons, then they should take the initiative to refer the person to another counselor who is willing to take on that task. As helpers, we want to do our jobs effectively and by doing so, we want to give our best service so instead of serving half-heartedly I believe it is better to refer these individuals to a helper who will serve wholeheartedly.
According to www.prb.org/increase-in-married-same-sex-us-couples, the number of married same-sex couples in the United States has increased dramatically in recent years, as reported in a recent Bulletin on U.S. family change from the Population Reference Bureau.In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in every U.S. state; a 2013 ruling required the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned marriages of same-sex couples. Married same-sex couples totaled an estimated 486,000 by October 2015, representing 45 percent of all same-sex couples, up from the 2013 level of 230,000 married same-sex couples, 21 percent of the total. With the rapid increase of same-sex marriage, as helping professionals we should consider how widespread same-sex marriage is becoming all over the world and this makes it almost inevitable to stop ourselves from extending a helping hand to them because everyone needs help at some point and is seeking help so who will they go to if not us?
- Heaphy, B. (2009, December 31). Same-Sex Marriage. Retrieved from https://search.credoreference.com/content/topic/same_sex_marriage
- Minnix, G. M. (2018, April 11). Reconciling Counselors' Christian Beliefs and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affirmation: A Grounded Theory. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cvj.12076
- Living Out. (n.d.). What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Retrieved from https://www.livingout.org/the-bible-and-ssa
- Same-Sex Marriage in Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/same-sex-marriage-in-canada
- Existing Data Show Increase in Married Same-Sex U.S. Couples. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/increase-in-married-same-sex-us-couples
- Heaphy, B. (2009, December 31). Same-Sex Marriage. Retrieved from https://search.credoreference.com/content/topic/same_sex_marriage?locale=en