Speaking Sunday in Hollywood,
California Representative Linda Sanchez pledged she will author
legislation that would secure Social Security benefits for gay and
Sanchez was among the state and local
officials who joined hundreds of demonstrators outside the Los
Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center to kick off Rock
for Equality, a grass-roots campaign to win Social Security
survivor benefits for gay couples.
Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Center, spoke
to the crowd first.
“We are here today to demand an end
to bigoted government policies that force LGBT seniors out of house
and home, or to chose between food and medicine because they are
denied the survivor benefits that straight people take for granted,”
Sanchez, who is a member of the House
Subcommittee on Social Security, told the cheering crowd that she
would sponsor legislation to fix the inequality.
“We now have quality, affordable
health care coming to all,” Sanchez said. “What good is the
quality of our health care in America if Americans are not treated
equally under all of our laws? I look at this country – which is
great but could be made better – and I see there is still
“I don't think it's right that
Americans should be treated differently by the country they love
because of who they love,” she added.
Representative Judy Chu, whose district
includes East Los Angeles, offered to co-author Sanchez's bill.
California Senator Barbara Boxer also
lent her support. “We will win it,” she told the crowd. “It's
just a matter of time.”
After the rally, demonstrators marched
down Hollywood Boulevard to the Social Security office on Vine Street
where they waved signs that read “Outlaw Social Security
According to the Center, the inequity
is estimated to have cost the gay and lesbian community more than $2
billion in the last decade alone.