Social Security Equality Act Aims to Help Those in Civil Unions

While couples who are in states that legalize gay marriage equality can rejoice over the Supreme Court’s decision against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited federal recognition of those marriages, those in states with just civil unions still face inequality and uncertainty on how their partnerships are treated at the federal level. However, in one area, Social Security, a congressional bill is hoping to change that. From Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed:

California Rep. Linda Sánchez wants federal protection for same-sex couples to go beyond current recognition for same-sex married couples, introducing legislation Friday that would provide equal Social Security benefits not just for same-sex couples who are married but also for those in civil unions or comprehensive domestic partnerships.

“Same-sex couples pay into Social Security over the course of their working lives just like other Americans. They should receive the full benefits they have earned,” Sánchez said in a statement. “My bill will make sure every American receives a benefit based upon their contribution to Social Security, not their sexual orientation.”

The Social Security Equality Act of 2013, introduced with 109 co-sponsors, would require the Social Security Administration to provide spousal, survivor and death benefits to same-sex couples in relationships that have been recognized by the state where they live, according to Sánchez’s office.

The article notes that the Social Security Equality Act of 2013 does nothing to help those in states that ban gay marriage and civil unions.

Read the full article

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