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Effects of Conservative Religion on Lesbian and Gay Clients and Practitioners

Practice Implications

Ski Hunter

ISBN: 978-0-87101-400-9. 2010. Item #4009. 202 pages.

Paperback $48.99

Heterosexism plays a key role in the views of conservative churches about lesbian and gay people. Effects of Conservative Religion on Lesbian and Gay Clients and Practitioners: Practice Implications offers a comprehensive study of the effects that conservative religious views have on gay and lesbian clients and on the social service practitioners who work with them.

The focus of this book is twofold:

  • Many lesbian and gay clients who come from conservative religious backgrounds are still religious, and religious organizations are prevalent in their communities. For these individuals, their religious background may keep them from completing the coming out process. This book discusses how many individuals cope with this conflict, providing a hopeful model for those still struggling. There are also chapters on working with lesbian and gay people who have little or no openness to a lesbian or gay identity, a group distinct from those who are open to a lesbian and gay identity and one that needs to be addressed in a different way.
  • Social workers who grow up in conservative religious environments can experience difficulties themselves—and create difficulties for those they serve—if they bring their religious views of lesbian and gay people into practice with them. To move toward affirmative work with lesbian and gay clients, they must be transformed. To date, little empirical work on how to change such practitioners has been done, but this book presents an important, novel program to transform heterosexist practitioners.

This insightful book will serve as a useful springboard for classroom discussions, and it constitutes a long overdue, invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned social workers alike.