I don’t see the problem with issuing gay couples the same Social Security rights as married couples so long as documentation proves they have been together 10 years or more, as is the requirement for married couples expecting a spousal benefit. If both members in the heterosexual couple work, the system would treat them like a two-earner couple, unless they can get more by taking the spouse benefit based on their partners PIA. Again, I do not see the problem with this right being given to homosexual couples. They are paying taxing just like heterosexual couples but their deductions and their benefits are not the same.

While this seems logical, and both conservative and liberal politicians have spoken in favor of it, no steps have been taken to give these couples the same Social Security rights as heterosexual couples. The Equal Access to Social Security Act was introduced to Congress in 2004, but was never addressed in the two year period so was cleared from the books. Then it was introduced again in 2006, but again cleared from the books. It has not been brought back for Congress to discuss.

An article I found from USA Today reports on the risks same-sex couples enter once they are in their retirement years. Not only do they face a much greater risk of spending the end of their lives in poverty because they’re ineligible for a host of federal protections, ranging from Social Security survivor benefits to estate tax exemptions, but couples who have lived together for decades may be barred from sharing a room in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. They are also unable, in many hospitals, to have next-of-kin privileges during hospitalization which is terrible for anyone dealing with illness. While some states recognize gay marriage and give them the same rights as straight married couples, the federal government still does not recognize gay marriage. Being treated differently on provisions run by the federal government, like Social Security and estate taxes, could greatly affect them especially if they are already vulnerable to falling into poverty. The aging baby boomer population will be over 70 million seniors, and more people means higher numbers of all cultures, races, and sexual orientations. We have not had a large population of homosexual couples in retirement before and how our government treats them may have serious repercussions for our aging population.