Today, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39) announced the introduction of the Social Security Equality Act of 2012 (H.R. 4609) which would end a Social Security Administration discriminatory policy that denies benefits to same-sex couples.
"No American should ever be treated differently by the country they love because of who they love," said Congresswoman Sánchez. "Social Security is based on a simple formula--work hard, pay into it with each paycheck, and be able to retire with dignity. This must apply to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation. It is time the Social Security Administration ends a misguided policy that discriminates against same-sex couples."
Congresswoman Sánchez introduced the Social Security Equality Act of 2012 at a Capitol Hill press conference along with leading LGBT advocates from across the country, including actor and LGBT activist George Takei. H.R. 4609 would eliminate the Social Security Administration's policy preventing same-sex couples from receiving the same spousal, survivor and death benefits their heterosexual counterparts receive.
"The Social Security Equality Act will make a crucial difference to countless elderly LGBT people who are struggling to survive because their own government has denied them the Social Security benefits their spouse's paid for and to which they are entitled," said Lorri L. Jean, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO. "That's not only wrong, it's un-American."
The Social Security Equality Act of 2012 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. H.R. 4609 was introduced with 94 original co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Congresswoman Sánchez introduced the Social Security Equality Act of 2010 in the previous session of Congress. H.R. 4609 has garnered support from the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, AIDS Community Action Foundation, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders), and PFLAG (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).