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Social Security Admin rejects het licenses because of gay marriage limbo

The blowback is occurring. Now straight folks are getting a taste of the unfair and insane government bureaucracy surrounding gay marriage. Both het and gay marriage licenses granted in cities where it was briefly allowed are currently in limbo both in state courts and now with the SSA, creating this problem. (AP):

The Social Security Administration is rejecting marriage documents issued for heterosexual couples in five communities that performed weddings for gay couples earlier this year.

The agency is rejecting all marriage certificates issued in New Paltz, N.Y., Asbury Park, N.J., Multnomah County, Ore., and Sandoval County, N.M., during the brief periods when those localities recognized gay marriages.

Susie Kilpatrick, 30, of New Paltz, said the local Social Security office told her that no marriage documents from the town could be used to establish identity if they were issued after Feb. 27, when New Paltz’s mayor began marrying gay couples. About 125 heterosexual couples have been married since then.

Kilpatrick said her marriage certificate was rejected when she went to get a new card earlier this month so she could take her husband’s name.

“What concerns me is that the certificate is the only way to prove that we’re married,” she told The New York Times for Sunday editions. “If something happens to us, or some other couple from New Paltz, we can’t prove we’re married. We would not be able to draw benefits.”

The agency did not respond to repeated requests from the Times for comment. A call from The Associated Press for comment on Sunday was not immediately returned.

The agency posts rules on its Web site spelling out which documents can be used to obtain Social Security cards.

It accepts civil-union documents from Vermont and marriage licenses for gay couples in Massachusetts. Marriage certificates for gay couples from San Francisco are not allowed, but those for heterosexual couples from the city are being recognized.

The Web site said the legality of marriage documents in the other localities, including New Paltz, is “still unresolved at the state level.”

New York state officials, including Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Gov. George Pataki, have said same-sex ceremonies violate state law. Several lawsuits challenging the law are pending, and New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, is widely expected to make the ultimate decision on the legality of gay marriage in the state.

Residents in New Paltz are confused why Social Security officials are targeting heterosexual marriage licenses from their town.

Dan Wilen, New Paltz’s town supervisor, said the agency never contacted town officials to inform them that the certificates would not be recognized. He called the policy unfair.

They’re delving into every aspect of our lives, including marriage,” he said. “I’m appalled.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding