CHICAGO (Reuters) – When President Obama embraced same-sex e it as an issue for the states to resolve. But federal laws and policies are very much front and center in the battle for a level financial playing field for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans – especially seniors. And the Obama administration is taking a more active role in that battle than the president let on in his historic interview.
One of the key pocketbook issues is that it is impossible for LGBT couples to access the valuable spousal, survivor and death benefits from Social Security, although they pay the same FICA taxes as heterosexual workers, and are nearly twice as likely to live in poverty than heterosexual seniors. Average Social Security benefits are 32 percent lower for LGBT couples than for heterosexual couples, according to The Williams Institute, a think tank focused on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy at the UCLA School of Law. Continue reading “Gay couples can’t bank Obama’s blessings yet”