Civil Unions

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Civil Unions
Gay marriage shows up in almost all groups of persuasive papers and speeches, and has for a long time. Only in the past few years have we actually seen cases going through courts to get it legalized. Almost everybody has an opinion on it. In Minnesota they don’t want to actually let gay people be married, but they want to call it a “civil union.” They say a civil union is the same thing, but is it really? As a social worker, civil unions go against a lot of our ethics.

Representatives opposing same sex marriages say they will get the same benefits as being a married couple, but they don’t. Civil union partners couldn’t file taxes together, they wouldn’t get survivor benefits, and many other federal benefits. All that, doesn’t really sound like the same benefits to me. If they really did get the same benefits, why would you not just call it marriage? I’m not gay, so I can’t speak for the gay community, but I would imagine they would like to just have the same rights everybody else does, and actually be “married.”

Denying same sex couples marital rights goes against almost everything social workers stand for, social justice, dignity and worth of a person, ethical responsibilities to the broader society, the list is endless. Social workers want everyone to have the same rights and opportunities. It is about making society the best it can be for the majority groups and minorities.

Social worker’s ethical responsibilities to the broader society is means they pursue social and political action to ensure fair and equal access to resources and opportunities. Equal opportunities is a huge part of that. Saying same sex couples can have civil unions, but not actually be married is not equal. Even though they say civil unions and marriages are the same, as Americans we would be taking huge steps backwards, going back to things like the Jim Crowe separate, but equal laws. Separate but equal laws have never worked in this country, so saying civil unions...
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