By Deana F. Morrow PhD, Lori Messinger PhD
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Additional info for Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice: Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People
S. Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision upholding the right of states to enforce laws against homosexual sodomy in Bowers v. Hardwick, while Pope John Paul II released a fourteen-page letter calling gays “intrinsically disordered” and “evil” and ordering Catholic Church officials to ensure that “all support” be withdrawn from gay Catholic organizations such as Dignity. Over the next several years Catholic churches across the United States systematically enforced the order and ejected Dignity chapters, which had been allowed to hold meetings in their buildings (“The 80s in review,” 1989).
In October 1998 the death of Matthew Shepard—a young college student beaten and left tied to a fence for eighteen hours because he was gay—prompted nationwide vigils and demonstrations. More outrage ensued when religious extremists picketed Shepard’s funeral carrying anti-gay placards. , march, discussions in the media about homophobia, and a renewed push for gay hate crime legislation. The 1990s also gave rise to significant developments in the realm of gay and lesbian relationships and families.
Asking about sexual orientation and gender identity simply out of worker curiosity is an inappropriate invasion of client privacy. Also avoid unnecessary “outing” of clients to other workers and staff. It is important to ensure the privacy of client information to the greatest extent allowable. Unfortunately, information about a client’s sexual orientation and gender identity may be used by others for harmful means— especially in legal proceedings such as child custody cases. 10. Advocate for GLBT-affirmative work environments and GLBT-affirmative agency services.
Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice: Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People by Deana F. Morrow PhD, Lori Messinger PhD