Gay widower’s court win ensures survivor benefits for LGBT couples
June 9, 2020 by Tobias Salinger
Hundreds of older LGBT Americans shut out from Social Security benefits after the death of their spouses are set to gain access to them under a federal court decision.
Plaintiff Michael Ely can receive benefits as a widower even though his partner of more than 40 years, James Taylor, died of cancer just six months after they officially married, rather than the required nine months, according to a May 26 ruling in Arizona District Court.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Macdonald also certified Ely, 67, as representative of a class estimated at more than 400 Americans who got hitched after their states legalized same-sex marriage but later lost their spouses in fewer than nine months.