Under her bill, same-sex couples in states that recognize their marriage or civil union would be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.


In its DOMA ruling in June, the Supreme Court said the federal government cannot deny benefits to people from states that recognize their same-sex marriage. Sanchez said that ruling is expected to require the Social Security Administration to live by that standard.

However, she said same-sex couples in any of the states that recognize civil unions may still be denied these benefits, and said her bill would cover couples in those states. The states allowing civil unions are Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey.

As of this summer, Delaware and Rhode Island joined the dozen or so states that allow same-sex marriages.

Sanchez has introduced similar legislation in the last two Congresses; her new bill was introduced with 109 co-sponsors.