Pride Month turned out to be perfect timing for the latest landmark Supreme Court ruling, saying that civil rights protections barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian, and transgender workers. “The ruling is likely to have a sweeping impact on federal civil rights law barring sex discrimination in education, health care, housing, and credit”, Richard Wolf states in USA Today.
Despite the fact that this is a major civil rights victory, “people who are lesbian gay, bisexual, or transgender still need to find and keep regular employment – something easier said than done,” as Molly Callahan points out in News@Northeastern. What’s more, as Joseph Kapp and Nicholas Burkholder observe in an AARP piece, the federal government and many pensions view same-sex unmarried couples as strangers, and therefore, unmarried same-sex couples have a smaller safety net because they are not eligible to receive Social Security or pension survivorship benefits..
Even worse, as Commonwealth Fund’s To The POINT newsletter reminds readers, along with the good news from the Supreme Court, this month also brought bad news to the LBGTQ community in the form of a rewrite of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act’s 1557, which had prohibited discrimination in health care funding for transgender people. The new rule means that trans people may now face discrimination in accessing health services and in getting coverage for gender transition services.
While at Geyer Law we are neither politicians nor legislators, we know that LBGTQ individuals and couples need special guidance in planning their estates and designing documents that help protect their finances and ensure their wishes are followed – for themselves and those they care about most.
“With a little planning and preparation,” AARP emphasizes, “the emotional toll of a death or terminal illness doesn’t have to be compounded by financial burdens. Avoid these potential pitfalls and take these steps so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that whoever lives on will be secure.”
We agree. ”No couple is the same, our attorneys realize, and individual situations need to be understood in light of Indiana laws in order to help LBGTQ individuals and couples prepare for the future.
– by Cara Chittenden, Associate Attorney at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates