DOJ Drops Opposition To Survivor Benefits For LGBTs

NBC News reports:

Social Security survivors benefits will now be available to same-sex spouses and partners who had been denied access due to previous bans on gay marriage.

The Department of Justice and the Social Security Administration on Monday announced that they dismissed appeals filed by the then-Trump administration in two class-action lawsuits related to Social Security survivors benefits for same-sex partners and spouses.

Lambda Legal filed one of the suits on behalf of Helen Thornton, 66, whose partner of 27 years, Marge Brown, died of cancer in 2006. The two were unable to get married before Brown died because Washington didn’t allow gay and lesbian couples to marry until December 2012.

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

“We commend the Biden administration for respecting the constitutional rights of same-sex couples and choosing the right side of history. No one should continue to pay the price for past discrimination. Today’s development ensures that the door stays open for seniors who were wrongly locked out from critical benefits because of discriminatory laws,” said Lambda Legal Counsel Peter Renn.

“This a historic development with immense implications: survivor’s benefits are now equally available to everyone, including potentially thousands of same-sex partners who could not marry their loved ones and may have thought it was futile to apply.”