Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in America face particular problems that are not faced by most heterosexuals. Many struggle with discrimination, prejudice, laws that do not rec­ognize same-sex unions, lack of spousal benefits for their partners, and families who may reject them. On the other hand, many gay and lesbian couples live together in stable, happy unions, leading lives not really that much different from the heterosexual couple next door. Gay and lesbian lifestyles are as varied and different as those of the rest of so­ciety; yet examining the special challenges and circumstances that gay and lesbian peo­ple face can be instructive.