Recognizing LGBT History Month

October 17, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

lgbt-historySocial Security is committed to treating all Americans fairly. This commitment extends to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people covered by Social Security’s many programs.

October is also National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) History Month. It’s a month-long annual observance of the history of the gay rights movement. First observed in 1994 to coincide with National Coming Out Day, the month has evolved to include a more diverse range of people identifying as LGBT.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states and have their marriages recognized in all states. This decision made it possible for more same-sex couples and their families to benefit from Social Security.

We now recognize same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and some non-marital legal relationships, for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We also recognize same-sex marriages and some non-marital legal relationships established in foreign jurisdictions for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and SSI eligibility.

We encourage anyone who is unsure whether they are entitled or eligible for Social Security to apply right away for benefits. Applying now will protect against the loss of any potential benefits.

If you have any questions about how to apply for benefits, call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). We can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday. We treat all calls confidentially.

Visit to apply for benefits and learn more about our policies for same-sex couples.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Robert T.

    Which month do you plan to celebrate H/S/N Month (Heterosexual/Straight/Normal)? Since when does a Government Entity get involved with the sexual preferences of the Citizens to the point where it “celebrates” them? It gets SO tiring and irritating to have peoples’ sexual confusions and abnormal desires pushed in our faces at every turn. OK, by now everyone knows there are Homosexuals out there. Why do we have to endure the constant reminders and mentions of them 24/7. ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

    • Cortez

      Dear, straight, probably white and never discriminated against in your life Robert.
      The past 30 million or so years have been yours to celebrate. I suggest you go have your parade before there are no floats left for you. I’d suggest the narrow-minded bigot float.

    • Equality

      Robert: Once discrimination in employment, housing, etc. ends, it is likely there will be fewer LGBTQ folks “in our faces”. Why? Let’s say two people of the same sex marry. When they change their W-4 status from single to married, and identify their spouse for benefits, the employee can be fired in most states, simply for being LGBTQ. The couple could also be refused housing for the same reason. Until real and lasting equality exists, I suspect the “reminders” will continue.

  2. Robert B.

    As I read the comments I am reminded that there is still so much that needs to be done for full equality at all levels.

    I am decorated by the USAF,. a retired highly decorated NASA retiree and yet in this age we still have so much hate. To think I had to hide my feelings for so very long. My partner of 40 years never got to see let alone participate in the many awards I received. Yet I see comments here regarding religion etc…how very sad. As to paid for by…how many billions spent on projects that have never been voted for, buried in some bill.. your commentary is so very sad.

    Thank you Social Security for your efforts in advancing equality.

    • Apestas

      You can have all the decorations you have / need Mr. but when the final moment comes, you’ll face the ultimate JUDGE, then you’ll find out you’re worthless.
      Have a good day.

      • Mike

        You are everything wrong with religion and your remarks are not welcome or appropriate to the discussion….go troll somewhere else

        • Patti

          Why can’t people learn to accept people who they are and move on. There are so many other problems with this country. Who are you to judge that person? God the Almighty??

      • Mike

        And by the way, WORTHLESS??? Really? This is a man who spent, I’m sure, most of his life defending this country, and YOU, in the USAF and NASA! You know, the space agency? How dare you possibly call this gentleman worthless? He is worth 100 of you or me

      • Cortez

        Apestas, you are a waste of human space. Please don’t reproduce.

    • Mike

      First of all congratulations for all of your accomplishments, and thank you for your service to our country. It is a shame that your partner could not be there to share in your happiness and had to remain a hidden secret. In this day and age, I am appalled by the hatred being spewed out in the comments here…and in reply to your post. Those good religious folks sure are a hateful bunch….wonder what they are so afraid of? Are they afraid of catching “the gay”? And before the insults come in….no I am not a homosexual. And no…I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality. And neither should you, it’s not a choice…you can’t pray it away….it is a part of our society, get used to it. They are no different than you are. You probably know and love somebody who is not “straight”, you just don’t know it…ha ha.
      Again,, Robert, thank you for your service…and NASA? How cool!

    • Pam S.

      In the 1990s an inner ear study for an unrelated purpose revealed that a chemical in the inner ear differed for women who identified as homosexual. Straight women were at one end of the spectrum for this chemical, straight men at the opposite end of the spectrum. However, lesbian women were in the middle or closer to the straight men’s end. This inner ear chemical is not something anyone could alter or willfully change. This was the first evidence of which I am aware that suggested a genuine biochemical difference possibly manifested in sexual preference. As you might expect, this finding generated controversy. The best response I heard was from a prominent Presbyterian minister in my area. He said that all I know is this: God said to love one another, and that’s exactly what I intend to do until I receive other instructions from God. I am paraphrasing his statement, but I’m close to the minister’s words. We have only begun to uncover God’s mysteries and therefore need to keep an open mind. Hating any other child of God for any reason is not what we are supposed to do.

  3. Garrison

    Thank you.

  4. mary r.

    Thank goodness we live in a world where love in every form can be recognized and honored between any two people regardless of gender, race, religion.

    • Mike C.

      And if it were love and not lust and rebellion I would agree.

      • Mike

        Love or lust, what’s it matter? Everyone can experience love and lust, no matter who they are. What does rebellion have to do with it? I’ve never heard that the LBGT movement had become militant and was out to overthrow the system. Wow…and here I was just thinking it was about equal human rights.

  5. ata

    I would opine that the phrase at the bottom of this post says it all, “Paid for at U.S. taxpayer expense”, as to the appropriateness of this topic on this site..

  6. Manuel S.

    Our primary responsibility is to abide by and respect the Rule of Law in this Country. We may not agree with it so when it is Law we have only to live by that Law.

    • tony

      There is no talk about sex in the workplace. You say you perfer big breasted women, you get fire. They say they like the same sex, it is discrimination to fire them.

      The LGBT are able to voice their value at work. You voice your religious value at work and they fire you for discriminating against the LGBT employee.

      The liberals has mess up America and imposed their perverted values onto us.

  7. Marlayna

    Separation of Church and State—Let’s not bring in the Bible as many believe it is a book of fiction with pregnant virgins, giants visiting earth from heaven having sex with mortal women, talking snakes, allowance of slavery, rules such as no tattoos, separation of dairy and meat products, not cutting of hair etc.

    • James C.

      History of the Founding Fathers of the US, referred to the ‘separation of the church and state’ as to the relationship that the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church had over the control of the countries that they came from. America was born on a different relationship because we were never under one controlling state/country religion. The Scriptures have been the belief for centuries of a belief in a Greater Being, who is in complete control of all things, believed in by faith. As to sight, we can see the failure of man.

    • Alvin

      Separating church and state is not allowing the state to dictate a type of religion. It is so sad to see someone so ignorant of the Bible that they are confused over the information you mentioned. Some is history and some is faith. All history is not what God intended and that is where faith enters. I hope you find it.

      • Mike

        Ummm….What about not allowing religion to dictate or determine policy?
        A lot of folks seem to struggle with this one.

    • Str8faith

      I am a 35 year old who u identifies as a 72 year old. How come I am not eligibile for SSI? I feel discriminated against as you condone a male claiming to transfom into a female and vice versa, based on what they feel they “identify” as now they are fluid?

      • Cortez


    • Mike

      What’s this? A reasonable voice? Thank Cthulu….I was getting worried for a minute.

  8. Barbara W.

    thank you.

  9. Don N.

    About your LBGT
    Suggest you read Romans 1:14-32
    Pay particular attention to the last line of verse 32.

    • Cathy

      Thank you

    • Invictus

      I refuse to concede to religionists the authority to restrict constitutional protections afforded ALL citizens of our country, a challenge mounted on the grounds that profession of religious faith alone (!) entitles the believer to act prejudicially against others and to curtail their liberties. You and yours have demonstrated over centuries your antipathy to normative democracy, and the obligation imposed by the Constitution to treat fellow citizens justly. The zealotry on sickening display at present by religious fanatics in the Middle East has as its counterpart here at home the invocation of (an of course undemonstrable) divine will as the rationale for impinging on the freedom of others to limit their family size, to choose to believe in God or not, and to love whom they choose. The arrogation to yourselves of a sovereign right to interpret morality, democracy, and the Constitution as you see fit is an unacceptable insult to the settled norms of freedom and liberty. I know that if you are not opposed, your apostasy from our guarantees of democratic freedom will not be limited to the LGBT community or women’s reproductive rights.

      • Str8faith

        Love? Using love to sell a lie. Sexual deviancy, sexually perverse fetishes are not love.

  10. M. W.

    Thank You

    • Alvin

      Can’t find a way to post so I will use you to reply. One can never give a liberal enough. Give them what they want and then they require national publicity by the government which is funded by many who don’t believe in the cause. The minority must now convince the majority to accept their values as normal. Take your equal rights, shut up, enjoy them and leave the remainder of us alone. Your extra activity is your main enemy.

      • Elcho

        I agreed w/you 1000 %

        • Str8faith

          Sexual deviancy is offensive. This facade of sexual perversion is sugar coated with a rainbow and sold to society.

          • Dennis G.

            It’s all about money to political parties. not about sexual orientation, it’s opportunistic in favoring the governments administration. I don’t care about which political party you belong to, but my vote is for Trump. but(Washington Insiders)

        • Invictus

          The savages of the Het Dictatorship have given us persecution of gay CITIZENS (especially vulnerable children) in our *notional* republic; persecution amounting to exclusion in the securing of paid, life-sustaining work; and a social ostracism that criminally infringes on the constitutional right of gay people to enjoy life and liberty. Elsewhere in the world? Female genital mutilation, a child bride every 7 seconds (!), arranged “marriages,” the thuggish intrusion of the “morals” police on people’s private lives; and a ruinous and unsustainable increase in population from 2 billion in 1930 to 7.5 billion today, and climbing. I repudiate your slanders.

          • Str8faith

            Population? It is impossible for these sexually deviant perversions, homosexual and beastial acts to procreate.

          • nunya

            Keep your sex habits private and you wouldn’t have any problems. You are an abomination to Yahweh!

          • Mina

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        • Mike C.

          Why must America return to the dark ages, when homosexuality was rampant and supported by the government? Why not be progressive, and leave the past behind us!

        • Victoria F.


    • D.P.H.

      I am so sorry for all the negative responses. Can’t we all live and let live? It was a pleasant surprise that the SSA took time to celebrate our difference.

Comments are closed.