"In other words, if you're a two-working family, like a lot of families are here in America, and two people working in your family, and the spouse dies early - before 62, for example - all of the money that the spouse has put into the system is held there, and then when the other spouse retires, he or she gets to choose the benefits from his or her own work or the other spouse's benefits, whichever is higher, but not both. See what I'm saying? Somebody who's worked all their life, the money they put into the system just goes away. It seems unfair to me."Yes, I agree with the President, it seems unfair to me also that a family who has worked hard to provide for their loved ones could lose their money upon the death of a spouse. However, what President Bush neglected to mention, was that his example was of course of a heterosexual family, and that millions of gay and lesbian couples are faced with this dilemma everyday.
President Bush, April 28, 2005
About Jasmyne Cannick
Chosen by ESSENCE Magazine as one of 25 Women Shaping the World, Jasmyne Cannick is a social and political commentator and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Based in Los Angeles, she can be reached via her website at www.jasmynecannick.com