- September 18, 2014
Marriage equality and copyright law? Not two things you would typically think are connected, but they are. And Congress needs to pass a law to treat all same-sex couples equally.
Today, Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced the Copyright and Marriage Equality Act, which would amend language in the Copyright Act that is currently preventing some married same-sex couples from receiving inheritance rights.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in the Windsor decision, the Obama Administration began providing most federal spousal benefits to all same-sex married couples, regardless of where they live. However, because of restrictions in the law, some agencies – including the Copyright Office, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs – do not recognize same-sex couples living in states without marriage equality.
This legislation corrects the problem so that the federal government can recognize all legally married same-sex couples. HRC thanks Representatives Kilmer, Polis and Ros-Lehtinen for their leadership on this issue, and we will continue to work to ensure that same-sex couples are treated fairly under the law.