Ideas

Sally Ride was the first American woman in outer space. Upon hearing the news of her death last week, media outlets and celebrities alike celebrated Ride as a hero. But under federal law, Ride’s domestic partner of 27 years will not receive death benefits or Social Security payments. Is that any way to treat a hero?

(MORE: Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space, Dies at 61)

Even though the majority of Americans now support the right of same-sex couples to marry and more states are embracing marriage equality, 1,138 federal benefits, including Social Security and family medical leave, are still denied to same-sex couples even if they’re married because of the Defense of Marriage Act enacted in 1996. And while 60% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic-partnership benefits to employees — so unmarried same- or opposite-sex partners qualify for health insurance, paid family leave and more —…

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