Monday, April 12, 2010
Hundreds of activists and politicians rallied in West Hollywood this weekend calling for equality in Social Security benefits. Speakers included Sen. Barbara Boxer and NGLTF head Rea Carey.
State and local officials joined hundreds of people outside the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood on Sunday morning to kick off a national grass-roots campaign demanding equal Social Security benefits for same-sex couples. The rally and march -- dubbed Rock for Equality -- was put together by the center and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in conjunction with the Aids Community Action Foundation, said Jim Key, a spokesman for the center.Go here for many more photos of the event. In the clip below, West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land addresses the crowd.
At the rally, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Lakewood), who is a member of the House Subcommittee on Social Security, announced that she would sponsor legislation to provide equal Social Security benefits for same-sex couples. "I don't think it's right that Americans should be treated differently by the country they love because of who they love," she said, triggering thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd. "Right now, same-sex marriage couples pay equally into a system that they don't receive equal benefits from in return," Sanchez told the crowd. "Shame on this country for allowing that to happen." As of now, people in same-sex relationships are denied Social Security survivor benefits from their deceased partners because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages or domestic partnerships as valid relationships.