Supreme Court Decision Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

Court gravel laying in front of a rainbow flagOn June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states. As a result, more same-sex couples will be recognized as married for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

Since a previous Supreme Court decision in 2013, the Social Security Administration has been able to recognize some same-sex marriages and non-marital legal same-sex relationships for purposes of determining entitlement to or eligibility for benefits. We also consider same-sex marriage when processing claims for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Marriage may affect your SSI eligibility or payment amount.

We’re working closely with the Department of Justice to develop and implement policy and processing instructions to implement the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision. As we have additional information, we’ll update our website and issue instructions to our staff.

In the meantime, if you’re a spouse, divorced spouse, or surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal same-sex relationship, we encourage you to apply right away for benefits. Applying now will preserve your filing date, which will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits.

For other helpful information on how same-sex marriage may affect your claim, please visit our Same-Sex Couples web page. 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.


93 thoughts on “Supreme Court Decision Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

  1. It is a shame that our country has come to this. I am sure that God is not happy with the degradation of our morals in this country. Our country calls good something he calls an abomination.

    • Read Matthew 7:12

      We might not like what the Supreme Court did, and I certainly am not in favor of people going against God’s law.

      However, they are still sinners as we are, and should not be treated in a hateful way. What you should be doing for them and our country, is praying. If you’re going to quote scripture, you’re going to be judged by Scripture. (See 2 Timothy 3:15-16) The Lord is going to judge every word you say, and every word that you don’t say.

      If you are a Christian, and that’s an if for me, because I don’t know if you are. Only the Holy Spirit and you know. You should have a more loving attitude toward those who are not saved, in the hopes of bringing some to heaven with you.

      Unless you are saved, and happy going to heaven all by yourself.

      If you are a Christian, and non-christians are reading this, then you have disgraced the Christian faith and should seek forgiveness from the Lord and from your fellow man.

      You may not like what they do, but you should still love them. That’s what Jesus would do.

      • What if you are NOT a Christian: this blog is not a religious forum. And I don’t care what a Bible, Quran, Torah, or other religious book says: I go for facts, not fiction.

    • Less ye Judge, less ye be judged!
      How about you worry about your own reward after death. Let others worry about their’s!

      • Keep reading the passage, Bill. It goes onto say, once you have evaluated your own station and repented, *then* you are in a position to assess (judge) how to respond to others’ issues. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “don’t judge.” By the way, I tell folks the KJV is a great book for 350 year-old people. For everyone else, there’s the modern translations: NIV, NASB, etc. Feel free to join the 21st century when you’re ready.

      • As in a legal relationship or partnership, but not married…..kinda self explanitory…..

      • It has been stated that this decision is not into a law yet. Are these instructions a pre-signing or are they active?

        • The court can only issue opinions .
          They can not make LAWS or change them

      • In Oregon we created the RDP registered domestic partnership. You went to the county courthouse and registered your domestic partnership. We are now in the process of aligning with the SC decision. I believe due to the lack of definition given by the SC I will be able to marry my Male dog now. I am complete.

    • In Oregon we had the RDP registered domestic partnership. You went to the county and registered your domestic partnership. We are in the process of aligning with the recent SC decision.

    • what of people who were in a same sex relationship before legal was an option? I was in one for eleven years I mean if my city didnt recognize it I dont count?

      • Thanks for your question, Rob. We continue to work closely with the Department of Justice for eligibility requirements and instructions for processing same-sex claims. In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions, and will post that information on our Same-Sex Couples web page, so stay tuned to that page. However, we encourage you to apply right away for benefits. If you disagree with our decision about your entitlement to benefits, eligibility for benefits, or payment amount, you can appeal, but it’s important to establish the date you apply for benefits.

    • Thanks Stephanie. We actively moderate the blog to make sure comments conform to our comment policy, have removed several comments today, and will continue to monitor the conversation.

      • James—
        Moderating and purging blog comments is certainly a challenging task considering, especially considering, to put it euphemistically, the “variety” of comments on this post and balancing that with SSA’s desire to promote free expression in its social media. But here’s the problem—you’re not on it fast enough and way too many comments remain that are completely irrelevant to the Deputy Commissioner’s post. All he is try to convey is that SSA is “on it”, working with DOJ, and as processes and procedures relating to married same-sex couples are established, SSA claims reps and potential SS claimants and beneficiaries will be kept informed. Now that’s a great message, which was then, and still is even as I write this comment, polluted by irrelevant references to Jesus, the Old Testament, religious battles, insulting references to “illegal aliens”, “God’s will”, and so on. If you read SSA’s own social media comment policy you will find that at least 50% of the comments currently published do not meet SSA’s social media comment standards. They have no relevance to the topic or otherwise merit being on here. I’m sure there’s a place for much of the superfluous venom on display here, but below Deputy Commissioner Walker’s blog post is not the place, even for a minute. Perhaps as part of your comment approval process you should consider evaluation before publication.

        • And…be more proactive with SSA’s social media. Surely SSA could have imagined that there would be all manner of things and commentary crawling out from under the “social media woodwork” on a subject like this. The need to monitor this post’s comments much more aggressively should have been understood from the minute it went live.

      • that’s like saying – “if you don’t like air pollution, then fdon’t pollute the air. I, on the other hand, will do my part to accelerate global climate change.”

    • If I understand you correctly, it is only B.S. because it does not involve you. If it did you might feel differently.

  2. Please remove the above abusive comments due to the following:
    ◾Personal attacks (e.g., abusive remarks);
    ◾Discriminatory language (including hate speech) about race, color, national origin, age, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), religion, disability, or other legally or agency-protected group;

  3. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Its about time that these words apply to everyone.

    • Nothing better illustrates the failure of gay rights than the experience of the Netherlands – where gay rights have gone the furthest, along with all other attacks on the family. Well, the family in the Netherlands is pretty dead, and so, too, is the Netherlands…they are being swamped by Muslims (there are areas in the Netherlands where homosexuals dare not show themselves for fear of being set upon by Islamist mobs) and fearfully hoping that at least the welfare State will last them to their graves.

      But, also, this is no longer the homosexual moment – while it appears to be striding to absolute and final victory and we’ll soon all accept it that a gay marriage is the same as a heterosexual marriage, the reality is that the moment is past. Homosexuality is a sterile, futureless activity. It leads precisely nowhere. The old, secular world which took over from Christendom is in its death throes…the only real question is what parts of the old West will be retained by the Christian remnant and which parts will be secured by resurgent Islam; and then we’ll get back to the real battle which was always there.

      • Fred,

        I have a gift for you, or anyone that agrees with you, it is in the second paragraph.

        I’m a concerned citizen, why are you so worried about homosexual people,and what they do? Have homosexuals broken up your relationships? Taken your job? Murdered your family? Taken your possessions? If not, then maybe they aren’t hurting you at all. If they aren’t hurting you at all, why are spending so much time worrying about them? They are people, just like everyone else. Like everyone else they deserve dignity.

        Maybe try going a day or two without worrying about things that don’t any effect on your life at all. Your gift will be a lot of time, where you don’t have to worry about the homosexuals any more. And time is the greatest gift of all. I hope you are able to do great things with all that free time you’ll have.

        I hope you have a pleasant day.

    • They Do ! Note the word “pursuit”. It means with effort on the part of the individual. No where is it written that it includes handouts or special privilege. People of all genders, color and backgrounds have made it in America. Greatest place on the planet.

    • That is quoted with a bent toward righteous living, not to mean anything goes. If a person enjoys shoplifting should we make amends for him? Pedophilia if consentual by both parties? Polygamy? Bigamy? Etc. The pursuit of happiness is not a licence for this behavior regardless of the idiotic supreme court ruling.

  4. The moderator should remove comments asap which do not comply with your comment policy. Some of these comments are obviously discriminatory and offensive.

      • The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Furthermore, if only the same sex were to have relations, the human would soon find itself extinct. I support and defend the U S Constitution since I took that oath in 1976, that includes free speech… Which by the way, isn’t free.

    • We agree, Barbara. We quickly removed several comments today that did not conform to our comment policy, and will continue to monitor the discussion. Thanks!

  5. I thought the supreme court function was to define a law, how do they have the authority to create law that is contrary to the existing constitution?

    • Recognition, isn’t the same as legislation. This is still a State by State issue, regardless of SCOTUS decision. We, the people, are supposed to govern. To make changes, govern we must.

      • Wait, so you’re saying the Constitution isn’t the law of the land? I believe we fought that war already. You may need to study up on your history books.

      • The Supreme court has the power to force states to comply with what they find is the law. Like it or not same sex marriage is now the law. Look at how many times people tried to change the abortion law. It is still the law and will be until the Supreme court decides otherwise.

    • You seem to be confused. The Supreme Court based its decision on the Constitution. They didn’t create anything – the right already existed. Also, the judicial branch doesn’t define laws, it interprets them.

  6. This is why the Christian faith is losing his in this country. These derogatory comments. If you really read Jesus message he was about love and doing good. He ate with the sinners not shun them. And he also warned not to judge as we will be judged with the same fotm that we do to others. You guys…. The government can do whatever they want. They are doing it anyways. What matters is how we live. We must love. Be kind. Forgive and pray for others. Be the examples for others. Then trust God to be God and to touch people’s hearts in his own time and change them. It’s not our place. God put ius here to serve as Jesus did. God handles the rest. All must pass until the end comes. Just be sure you’re one of them who’s ready. Be kind

    • Yes, His message was love. But sin is still sin, and will not be forgiven lest we repent and turn in to Him.

      • We are not the judge of sin or sinners. There is but one judge, let him do his job without anyone trying to assist him. He doesn’t need your help.

        • This is true. We are all sinners and most of us still go to church with no real plans to change. So what difference does it make whether you are a liar or a …whatever. And even tho’ the old testament calls the gay lifestyle an abomination we are not under the old law any more…. right?

      • You and your fellow followers are welcome to do so. Those of us who don’t go to your church and who don’t believe in your god and who don’t agree with your definition of sin will go our own way.

  7. Since when have the old and new testaments of the Christian Bible been incorporated into the existing US Constitution?

    • Since it was created. That’s why our country is one nation, UNDER GOD. Although the creators and signers of both the Declaration and the Constitution were of different faiths or no faith they all agreed that this nation would only last as long as we adhered to the moral laws of God. Everything in those documents come from both old and new testaments.

  8. Bad decision by the Supreme Court results in bad public policy and further drain on the Social Security Trust. Ongoing negative consequences for our nation and the principles it was founded on.

    • Guys Gals. Lets respect !!! Now if you are on SSI or SSID and you marry a person ON the same you NO NOT get more money they take half of your money and put your spouse case You get no more money it stayes the same They say 2 can live on one

  9. Why not? We give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens. Why not add homosexual citizens to the list. America is lost.

    • Actually, what is soon to be lost is your bigoted way of thinking. And that’s a good thing!

    • Homosexuals are citizens (if they’re here legally) and have always been eligible for S.S. benefits. No one has ever been asked about their sexual habits! It’s the “marriages” part of all this that is so disgusting.

  10. Thank you Nancy for a sane response to a volitile issue. It is not our place to judge. The Bible can be used to interpret for good or evil – justifying slavery for example, as can the Koran, – Isis terrorism for example – with many different interpretations of what is good or bad. Pray, ask for guidance and live your life the best YOU can and let God worry about the rest.

  11. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭26-32‬ ESV)

  12. The legalization of nationwide same-sex marriage is a step in the right direction. There is much more work to be done to fully realize the goal of equality for all. We must all work together to achieve this. All people deserve happiness and we are really just one large family in this country. Let’s support each other regardless of our differences. Our differences make this country great.

  13. If you don’t agree with this they call you names. I see this as legalized fraud on insurance companies, benefit programs and the Social Security Insurance System. They don’t even consummate some of these relationships. It’s “kiss me quick” and we can get spousal benefits.

    • Hi Nat,

      I hope you are having a pleasant day.

      I’m a proud american, I served my country, and I’m happy that we have the social security system that also helps serve our citizens.

      I don’t know if you are aware of these facts, but I like to share, so here goes:
      1. There are more straight people than gay.
      2. Straight and gay people are both capable of being dishonest, and taking advantage of our systems.

      With those two facts, I can draw the extremely likely conclusion, that straight people, of which I am one, are responsible for most of the SSA fraud that happens.

      Just a thought.

      Have a great day!

  14. This blog should be to discuss procedure and process. It really is not a place for socio-religio-political debates. There are many other forums for that. Marriage Equality is now the determination of the law, which the SSA must abide. Hopefully the moderator will remove all of the soapbox comments and we can move forward!

  15. You can never normalize the abnormal. It can only lead to the destruction of those who try and the civilizations that embrace it. It is our moral decline that the Islamist is abhorred with. But, unlike the Islamist, Christianity preaches forgiveness, mercy and compassion. May God give us courage and confidence to speak out against the abnormal and still have compassion for those who embrace it.

  16. This blog has become useless to those who are seeking social security benefits information.

  17. According to the bible (King James Version) these gay and lesbion people will not be really married in God’s eyes no matter what they do or say they will stiill
    be lost and go to hell if they don’ t repent and live like God commanded. And I also think that their names should be listed in the Clerk’s Office in a different book
    in the Clerk’s office, please don’t list them with the people that are really married in God’s eyes.

  18. God’s word never changes and He does not either this modern bibles some of them changes the true meaning
    of what it was origionally meant to be. If some one don’t stand up for the truth and stop worrying about hurting someone little bitty feelings we all must stand before God in the end and give an account for all, when it comes down to the wire do any of us think that we will make it in
    to Heaven with the Saints, if the righteous scarely make it where will the ungodly appear?

  19. Practically speaking, where is the money to fund the traditional families in need, much less the newly formed families?

  20. Pope Francis, who is called a liberal pope, when in fact he is a follower of Christ says: Be tolerant, kind and loving to all as in Jesus’ words, “Love your neighbor as you would yourself”. One can’t denounce sinners as we all are sinners. Render to Caesar with is Caesar and render to God what is Gods’. It’s apparent, at least to me, the government wants to progressively transform our culture – the president’s words’ and diminish faith – they are prosecuting people who follow their beliefs & consciences. I believe that happened in WWII. If same sex folks want a union, they’ve had them for years – give them a union – but it is not a marriage. Millions of Christians should not be forced to believe otherwise and be prosecuted for less than 2% of the population. To do so would be
    communistic and would change our country morally, spiritually and culturally.

  21. GOD made everyone on Earth and not one of us is perfect, or we wouldn’t be here. We are all being tested every day and the one testing us is ourself, (our spirit). GOD gave us clear instructions for living a good, right life, but many factors are pushing us away from it. God said that man must not lay with man or animal. Woman must not lay with woman or animal. It is an abomination and an abomination against our own flesh is detrimental. It festers!

  22. What a shame!!! Yet seniors who,get a small soc sec cannot be increased up to a livable income……I do not get anywhere the 1200.00 a month into that is claimed to be the amount that everyone gets!!!!! This is a tragedy!!!

  23. Is this a good or bad thing for gay beneficiaries? It is my understanding that SSA has something of a “marriage penalty” whereby they pay less per person than they would two individuals with disability. Furthermore, the Actuary has latched onto this case although the Court has not applied it to SSA. The Actuary comes across as having a mood disorder because we do not know that his Court judges deprivation of relief benefits under 18USC246. Are gay lovers the new Jewish mothers and pickle farmers who snitch to SSA to steal and poison and you get stuck with $666 a month for life.

    Free DIRT (Disability Insurance Reallocation Tax) Act of 2016-2020 HA-7-7-15

    To avoid burdening the U.S. Supreme Court with the responsibility for criminally convicting the SSA Actuary, Commissioner and Trustees (ACT) in 2016 for deprivation of relief benefits under 18USC§246 when they conspire to cut DI benefits to 80% because the DI Trust Fund will be completely depleted under “current law”, whereas: (a) the SSA Actuary has not gotten right FDR’s infamous “pain the OASDI tax rate calculus”, that takes a week to differentiate the first time, the Chief Actuary has responded to the President in regards to the OASDI reallocation question with a common wrong answer – 2.7% – October 1, 2015 is not too late for Congress to get the OASDI FICA tax rate right to avoid depletion of the DI Trust Fund in FY2016; (b) SSA administrators are peculiarly obsessed with continuing their $666 persecution on DI beneficiaries in violation of the 42 month limit (Revelation 13:10) when a beneficiary receiving $600-$699 a month should automatically receive an increase to $700 plus annual COLA thereafter; (c) Congress and other rich taxpayers should not be compelled to contribute their incomes above $118,500 (2015) to the attached, but separate roll-call vote, on the 130% increase in tax-base that would be derived from the OASDI Without Income Limit Law (WILL) and shared with the U.S. Treasury, until the SSA Actuary has calculated the baseline in dollar amounts for the optimal OASDI reallocation tax rate, projected to pay benefits until 2020, at no cost to taxpayers, free.

    To immediately amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% to 2.30%, from 0.90% to 1.15% for employees and from 0.90% to 1.15% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% to 10.10%, from 5.30% to 5.05% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.30% to 5.05% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) to avoid depletion of the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund in 2016 without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 beginning October 1, 2015.

    To amend the DI tax rate again in 2018 to 2.20% from 2.30%, from 1.15% to 1.10% for employees and from 1.15% to 1.10% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.10% to 10.20%, from 5.05% to 5.10% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.05% to 5.10% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 to maximize efficiency until a deficit appears in the OASI Trust Fund in 2020.

    Without Income Limit Law (WILL) Act

    To abolish the maximum taxable limit on DI contributions on January 1, 2016 and OASI contributions January 1, 2017 and repeal Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)§430.

    To require the Social Security Administration to pay for SSI Costs beginning January 1, 2017.

    To share profits in excess of social security program costs to the general fund of the U.S Treasury on a sliding scale beginning in 2017 DI 50/50 prioritizing the $22 billion + 2% annual growth cost of USPS, and OASI 10/90 to eliminate the federal budget deficit. In 2020 OASI would share at negotiated rates an estimated 25/75, in 2025 OASDI would share 50/50 and by 2030 75/25 and at 2035 OASDI would take all to pay for the peak in costs of Baby Boomer generation and might need to raise the overall OASDI tax rate.

  24. In the great words of the legend Kurt Cobain, “Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” Us gays are fabulously dangerous…

  25. The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is 1 man and 1 woman as ordained by God – and man cannot change it.

    Aren’t you glad your parents believed this

    • We’re not talking about “Holy Matrimony:” we’re talking about the legal status of marriage.

  26. This seems to be more of a loss to morality than a victory for rights.

    Setting same sex marriage policies that deny by definition a child a father or mother is denial of family.

    Read through the responses here and you will see the attacks on people that do not agree with the 5-4 decision, but firmly believe the opinion of the 4 minority judges.

    Tolerance?? Now one is subject to attack if they have a moral standard that disagree with your immoral practices. Rather sad, or is the meaning of that word going to change too like gay and marriage?

  27. it is all the way of b.s.,with plame to authority in a decent country country

  28. this is NOT a THEROCRACY nor a CHRISTIAN NATION…..we are talking about CIVIL MARRIAGE not HOLY MATRIMONY ….in the country we do NOT rule by religion, but with a CONSTITUTION….STOP PREACHING….religion is a CHOICE as is a religious ceremony.

  29. I am stunned at the hate and venom being spewed on this site for what should be a victory for the recognition and advancement of all human society – equality. To refer to it as “special” rights or handouts, is to compare what the US government gives to those who serve their country. You make a mockery of true entitlements.
    Why are so many of these abusive and discriminatory comments allowed to remain here? The kind of language (hate speech) many espouse here only sows the seeds of violence and murder – nothing that God approves of. If anyone needs to be repentant, it’s the hateful, overzealous bigots, not the homosexuals. If you believe in God, then you know that we are all made in God’s image. So stop the violence and murder. Smile on your brothers and sisters, cease your fear, hatred and judgment, and trust in the Word.

  30. While South Carolina was one of the last states to recognize same-sex marriage (it didn’t do so until November, 2013), it does recognize common law marriage and has for a long time. In fact a common law marriage in this state can be established in one day. My partner and I had a relationship for over four years until he died in March, 2012. My hope is that SSA will recognize this and upgrade my existing disability benefits based on the disability records of my late partner (he was receiving SSDI benefits that were double my monthly amount).

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