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Editor's Note: The Time Machine
By Marianne Mallon
Social Work Today
Vol. 18 No. 3 P. 3

When the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry, there was jubilation among LGBTQ people and all human rights supporters. But a mere three years later, we are in a different time. LGBTQ advocates and all people concerned with social justice fear that the nation is traveling back to a time before the monumental Supreme Court decision and other legislative advances for many populations, notably LGBTQ people.

This issue's cover story documents what is described as a systematic and coordinated effort to reverse progress and return to a time when LGBTQ people were unprotected and denied basic human rights. From the reversal of Title IX's prohibition of discrimination in schools on the basis of gender identity to attempting to ban transgender people from serving in the military to nominating federal judges who have demonstrated anti-LGBTQ bias to favoring policies that would allow individuals, businesses, and health care providers to refuse to provide services on religious or moral grounds, the current administration is leading us down the wrong path.

Read how LGBTQ advocates are enlisting social work allies to oppose this pattern of social injustice, another symptom of a movement trying to travel back in time to a version of America that was not unquestionably "great," but in many ways discriminatory and sadly dismissive of some basic human rights.

Also in this issue is a feature on how social workers, social work students, and other mental health professionals are supporting disaster survivors and addressing trauma through treatment and physical resources. They not only are helping them meet tangible needs of housing, food, employment, transportation, and child care but also are recognizing the anxiety, depression, helplessness, isolation, and grief of losing their homes, their livelihoods, their sense of personal safety, and in some cases, their family and friends.

Immediately following disasters, media coverage is heightened and nearly constant and we are sensitized to the victims' trauma. But coverage may trail off afterwards and we often forget that communities remain traumatized, sometimes for a lifetime, and professionals are continually challenged with the task of helping victims reach for resilience and transform into survivors.

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Marianne Mallon