Star Trek‘s George Takei appeared in Washington, D.C. yesterday in support of The Social Security Equality Act bill (H.R. 4609), introduced by California Representative Linda Sánchez.
H.R. 4609 would eliminate the Social Security Administration policy which denies certain benefits to same-sex couples.
Four types of benefits are currently denied to same-sex couples: spousal retirement benefits after the retirement of one spouse, disability benefits if one spouse becomes disabled, survivor’s benefits for surviving spouses, and the death benefit.
“The gay and lesbian population will not be told by their government that they are second-class citizens,” said Sánchez. “Same-sex couples pay into Social Security; they should receive the full benefits they have earned.”
Takei and husband Brad Altman appeared to support the bill. “There are same-sex couples who are denied equality often when misfortune befalls same-sex couples,” said Takei. “One falls ill, or tragically one might pass away. A survivor is left not only grieving, but financially insecure, and often the home they’ve built together, shared together is lost.”
The bill is expected to run into trouble in the Republican-controlled house. Talks are said to be underway about a Senate version of the bill.