“Social Security and Marriage Equality Act (S.A.M.E. Act)” Proposed

 

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

I received this info in my email last night from CredoMobilize.com. Click on the link to find out more about the organization and ways to support their progressive activist work.

Here’s what’s being proposed:

No matter who you are, or where you come from, Social Security is there for everyone in retirement, or for their children and spouse in the event of death. There’s just one problem: Some states don’t recognize every marriage. That’s why Senator Patty Murray and Senator Mark Udall have introduced the Social Security and Marriage Equality Act of 2014.

The Social Security and Marriage Equality Act (Or SAME Act) will ensure survivor benefits to any legally married persons regardless of their state of residence or their marriage ceremony location. Current law restricts survivor benefits based on their legal marital status in the state they live in, unfairly excluding LGBT citizens living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

Old-Age Insurance is the most well-known aspect of the Social Security Act, but the Act is intended to protect citizens at any time of incapacitation. The Social Security Survivors Insurance program extends assistance to an eligible family member, often a widow or child, in the event that a worker dies. The death of a spouse is an emotionally straining time, and retirement insecurity should never add to their burden. Many members of Congress continue to oppose equal protection under the law for all married couples.

Tell Congress: a marriage is a marriage, and our Social Security system belongs to all of us!

It’s outrageous to me that same-sex couples still don’t have all the benefits of other married couples. It’s time for the federal government to take a stand on marriage equality and make a law requiring every state in the land to legalize gay marriage. Enough with this one-state-at-a-time garbage! If we wait for each state to decide on their own, we’ll always have large swaths of the country that will never allow same-sex marriages. This is too important an issue to allow states to do whatever they want and trample on our human rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already deemed marriage a “fundamental right,” which means that it is a right that the Court upholds whenever a government action, such as a law, threatens that right. In 2013, the landmark case of Windsor v. United States resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that section three of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is unconstitutional and that the federal government cannot discriminate against married lesbian and gay couples for the purposes of determining federal benefits and protections.

At this point, all that’s left to do to allow gay marriage in every state is for the federal government to make it federal law. This will also require the Supreme Court to rule any state law denying same-sex marriage rights to be unconstitutional. As of now, the Supreme Court has declined to do this, staying silent on the issue.

Let’s call on President Obama and the Supreme Court to take a stand on the issue of same-sex marriage!

If you’d like to sign a petition that will be sent to Congress telling them to support the SAME Act, go to CredoMobilize.com.

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