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The U.S. is denying marriage benefits to this gay widower, so he’s suing the government
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has a policy that says a spouse must be married to their partner for at least nine months before they’re eligible to receive a deceased partner’s survivor benefits.
That’s not a problem for most couples, but it is for Michael Ely, a 65-year-old gay Arizona resident. He was denied SSA survivor benefits when his husband of six months died of cancer in 2015.
Ely and his partner Jim Taylor met in 1971 and they stayed together for the next 43 years. But because marriage wasn’t legal in Arizona until October 2014, they couldn’t marry until just before Taylor died.
“We got married as soon as we could, quickly gathering our loved ones together in less than three weeks,” Ely said. “But we were only able to be married for six months before I lost him to cancer.”
Gay man sues Washington Teachers Union for discrimination
A gay former employee of the Washington Teachers Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on Sept. 18 accusing the union, its president, and its former chief of staff of subjecting him to a hostile work environment and later firing him because of his sexual orientation.
Upper Marlboro, Md., resident Barry Hobson, 36, charges in the lawsuit that he was subjected to unfair and discriminatory treatment and harassment by WTU’s then chief of staff, Dorothy Egbufor. The lawsuit says Egbufor served as Hobson’s immediate supervisor shortly after he was hired as a receptionist and office assistant on Jan. 15, 2017.
Hobson’s attorneys filed the lawsuit on his behalf in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to Egbufor, the lawsuit names as defendants Washington Teachers Union President Elizabeth Davis and the union itself, which represents 5,000 D.C. public school teachers.
Argentines Urged to Limit Church's Influence on Politics
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—Hundreds of people gathered in Buenos Aires on Saturday to oppose the influence of religion on Argentine politics and encourage people to quit the Roman Catholic Church in the wake of a Senate vote not to legalize some abortions.
Catholic priest sex abuse crisis tests the separation between church and state
Here's What Hollywood Is Doing To Help People Affected By Hurricane Harvey
Last week, Hurricane Harvey, which was later reduced to a tropical storm, made landfall in Rockport, Texas, causing damage that will have a lasting effect on the city and surrounding communities for years to come.
Many people have been affected by the storm, with some being displaced and others trapped in their homes while city, state, and federal officials aim to find a solution.
Many celebrities have also been vocal about the storm. Here's a list of people in Hollywood who have pledged to help those affected:
First Water, Then Red Ink: The Cost of Recovery When Most Are Uninsured
World in no rush to offer Trump help post-Harvey
Ex-FEMA official: Trump needs to tell the whole truth about Harvey