Pelosi Statement Supporting Full Social Security Benefits for All Same-Sex Couples

May 22, 2014
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in support of a letter sent by Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and 127 Democratic Members of Congress calling on the Social Security Administration to deliver full spouse-based benefits to same-sex couples joined in civil unions, registered domestic partnerships, or marriage in states that do not recognize it:

“Nearly one year ago, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its commitment to equal justice under the law by discarding the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act into the dustbin of history.  With its decision, the highest court in the land kept faith with the highest ideals of our country: equality, fairness, and due process for all.

“In the time since this ruling, the Social Security Administration has taken concrete steps forward to ensure same-sex couples receive the spousal benefits they have earned.  However, too often, these benefits are denied to LGBT families united in civil unions or domestic partnerships, or married in states that reject marriage equality.  As the letter from my colleagues makes clear, the Social Security Administration’s action would not be necessary if Congress would pass the Respect for Marriage Act and declare marriage equality the law of the land.

“Until we reach that goal, it is imperative that the Social Security Administration act now to end all discrimination in the approval of spousal benefits – ensuring that no marriage is viewed differently than any other in the eyes of the federal government.  Moving forward, we will keep fighting to uphold our values by extending the blessings, benefits, rights, and responsibilities of marriage to all of America’s families.”

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