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Actor George Takei (L), known for his role in the science fiction TV series Star Trek, and his husband Brad Altman posed for media. The two join dozens of other protesters at Capitol Hill as they rallied for equal Social Security benefits.
Gay and lesbian activists from Los Angeles took a trip to Capitol Hill on Thursday. They're lobbying for a bill that would give same-sex married couples the same social security survivor benefits as heterosexual married couples, but it has little chance of passing the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Under current law, if the higher-earning member of a heterosexual married couple dies first, their social security benefits are passed on to the person left behind.
That’s not the case for same sex couples, a situation that Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez has introduced a bill to change.
"Right now," Sanchez said, "gay couples receive 18 percent less in Social Security benefits [than straight couples]."
And, Sanchez added, lesbian couples receive 13 percent less than gay couples.
Outside the Capitol, Sanchez was joined by gay and lesbian activists from Los Angeles, including Star Trek’s George Takei and his husband Brad.
Takei said that "all working Americans have contributed equally to Social Security. They are entitled to equality, to fairness and to justice."
The measure has nearly 100 co-sponsors — all Democrats.