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Social Security and Marriage Equality Act of 2014

On May 8, 2014, Senator Patty Murray from Washington sponsored the Social Security and Marriage Equality Act of 2014 (SAME). The objective of the bill (s. 2305) is to amend the Social Security Act so that same-sex married couples will be entitled to social security benefits based on place of celebration and not place of residence at the time the application for benefits is filed. If passed, its proposed effective date is June 26, 2013, the same date the United States Supreme Court issued the Windsor decision finding section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently accepting applications for benefits from same-sex married couples. However, if the couple is residing in a non-recognition state the application will be held and not processed.  This is because SSA law is still based on the law where the applicant resides at the time the application is filed. So in a state like Florida that does not recognize same-sex marriage, regardless of where the marriage was performed, the social security application will not be processed. This is creating an inconsistent and unequal result for the LGBT community. Change is necessary.

There is a similar bill (H.R. 4664) pending which you can read by clicking here. You can track the progress of the bills at Congress’ website ‘GovTrack.us’. I encourage you to read my blogs regularly to stay informed on the progress of this bill and many other important issues!

On July 17th a Florida Keys (Monroe County) Judge Overturned the Same Sex Marriage Ban in Florida.

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