Same-Sex Partnership and Issues
The recent historic decisions rendered by the Supreme Court and the Federal Government have granted same-sex couples more benefits, rights and freedoms than they have ever enjoyed before in this country. With the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and more states than ever before recognizing same-sex marriage, same-sex couples have more legal and cultural standing than ever before.
This does not, however, mean that same-sex couples have significantly different problems than heterosexual couples. The same problems that creep into any marriage afflict same-sex couples. And while the legal playing field is slowly evening out for these couples, this process isn’t finished as not all States recognize same-sex marriage and the courts are still “catching up” in regards to the long-reaching implications that the end of DOMA has.
Mediation is perhaps more important for same-sex couples than traditional couples in some ways. Mediation can be started long before the bonds of partnership that brought a couple together have weakened, meaning that cooperative solutions can be found before the dissolution of a marriage or partnership becomes inevitable. And in areas of the country where the laws and rights of same-sex couples remain cloudy or unresolved, mediation can avoid a treacherous legal path that may not serve anyone’s interests.
Mediation can even help couples that are not legally married, allowing for a solution to the end of a partnership that you control, not the State or the Courts. A mediator with experience working with same-sex couples, handling partnerships as well as marriages, can help couples deal with ancient family problems that have modern implications.