Now that we can, will we. While the media depicts same sex couples flocking to get married, what's not being talked about is how complicated this decision is for many. Marriage is a commitment usually made in the early stage of a relationship. In it's purest form, it is a genuine intent to join with another for a lifelong commitment through good and bad...Same sex couples are human beings and like heterosexual couples their relationships take many paths. But unlike most heterosexual marriages, same sex couples find themselves facing this decision all along the timeline representing various stages in a long term relationship. It now seems almost demanded and in fact companies that have offered Domestic Partnership (DP) benefits are now withdrawing them if same sex couples do not marry. So the simplicity of making a decision to marry in the usual early phase of two people knowing each other is changed by perhaps, many years together, parenthood, financial differences to name a few. Many older heterosexual couples who are divorced, widows/widowers, have grown children and grandchildren have been enjoying the privileges of (DP) because remarrying may literally cost them more than they want to pay and feel no need to at their stage in life.
Many same sex couples have much to figure out in deciding to marry or not. Some enter couples counseling to help them navigate this long sought right that for many begs the question, "Be careful what you ask for..."
GENERAL LGBTQ ISSUES:
The common issues facing gay lesbian and bisexuals are coming out, lack of equality, coupling without a roadmap, fear of literal physical threat, bullying, and dealing with rejection by their family. While the world is making progress, there are still not enough acceptances, in my opinion, for the GLTB population to have an open adolescence during the teenage years. Therefore, they often go through social adolescence later in life while carrying their adult responsibilities. Therapy may focus on helping navigate this developmental phase without self-destructing.
A very exciting development in the last 15 years is the increase in gay men and lesbian women having children. I work with them in providing the required screening for clinics mentioned above, as well as general counseling specifically for same sex couples in the process of deciding to have children and raising children as a minority in our culture. People often want help in how to talk to their children in age appropriate ways about how they are different from most of the people they know. Why they don’t have a father, have two mothers, or don’t have a mother but two fathers. Maybe they only have one parent and want to know why. Parents may need to explore when and how to talk to children about having known or unknown biological donors. There is much to consider when you take a path without a traditional road map. My experience will guide you on that path.