On Sunday in Los Angeles, an estimated 700 people rallied and marched from the LA Gay and Lesbian Center to the Social Security Administration's Hollywood office, chanting "Equal Rights Now" and demanding equal SSA benefits for same-sex couples, reports the LA Times.
"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.'Same-sex marriage couples pay equally into a system that they don't receive equal benefits from in return.' 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. Sanchez's bill calls for the Social Security Administration to recognize those civil unions or domestic partnerships as valid relationships for the purpose of disbursing survivor benefits that heterosexual couples with a marriage certificate now receive."
More on Sanchez's bill at The Advocate, who interviewed the congresswoman on Friday.
The rally kicked off the Rock for Equality campaign. The L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center posted photos of the rally at Facebook and reports: "Other political and community leaders at the event included Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Laura Richardson, L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land, Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey and AIDS Community Action Foundation President Craig R. Miller."