Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill That Gives Same-Sex Couples Social Security Benefits

by RYAN DENSON – Thanks to the Senate, same-sex couples are one step closer to receiving  Social Security and veterans benefits. In a vote of 57-43, eleven Republicans joined every Democrat. The amendment, which is attached to a larger funding bill, was sponsored by Hawaii’s Democratic Senator Brian Schatz and was spearheaded by Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Patty Murray of Washington. The amendment’s purpose was to “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to ensuring all legally married same-sex spouses have equal access to the Social Security and veterans benefits they have earned and receive equal treatment under the law pursuant to the Constitution of the United States.” The measure does not necessarily extend these benefits to same-sex couples in non-marriage equality states because Federal code determines who gets the benefits based on where the couple reside, not what state they were married in. The eleven Republicans who voted for the amendment were:...

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