New York, NY (PRWEB) June 26, 2015
SAGE stands with LGBT communities and allies in celebration today as we mark the historic Supreme Court Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which finally brings the freedom to marry to all Americans. SAGE commends the individuals and our sister organizations that have worked tirelessly for this victory.
"This is another huge step toward total equality for all of us," said LGBT heroine Edie Windsor. "Every step has increased our self-esteem and with that, more of us come out and we are seen by our families, our friends, our colleagues, our own children. By all means-go, get married! But before you do, learn how a marriage will impact you, both financially and legally. Put simply, talk before you walk. SAGE and I are partnering to make sure people, including LGBT older people, can find the information they need on marriage. Check out TalkBeforeYouWalk.org to find out what marriage may mean for you."
The denial of marriage equality has had serious consequences for LGBT older people. Until now, for example, a same-sex married couple's eligibility for Social Security spousal and survivor benefits, certain Medicare benefits, and certain Veterans' benefits were determined by the state in which they lived. As a result, states that prohibited same-sex marriages could also deny those benefits. Those discriminatory practices are now behind us.
"As the LGBT elder pioneer who struck the first blow for marriage equality at the Supreme Court two years ago, Edie Windsor is a 'sage' in the truest sense of the term and the perfect person to help us all figure out our next steps," said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. "Many LGBT older people live on the edge financially due to a lifetime of discrimination; if they are in a couple they need to make well-informed decisions about whether marriage will help their day-to-day lives. SAGE's 'Talk Before You Walk' page will steer LGBT elders, and all LGBT people, to critically important resources they need to make the best decisions they can on marriage."
Despite today's victory, LGBT older adults and others still are not free from discrimination. There is still no federal law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination in the workplace, public accommodations (like restaurants, movie theaters, and senior centers), housing, jury service, or financial transactions, many states also do not provide those legal protections. As same-sex couples from Texas to North Dakota walk down to the courthouse to get married, the march for full LGBT equality continues.
CONTACT: Cathy Renna, cathy(at)targetcue(dot)com, 917-757-6123