Ely v. Saul (formerly Ely v. Berryhill)

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Michael Ely and James “Spider” Taylor
Status: Closed
Landmark Case, Victory
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
Issues: Anti-LGBT Rulings, Laws and Amendments, Marriage, Relationships and Family Protections, Seniors

A lawsuit against the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of a 65-year-old gay man seeking spousal survivor’s benefits based on his 43-year relationship with his husband, who died seven months after Arizona began allowing same-sex couples to marry. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Michael Ely in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona argues that SSA’s imposition of a nine-month marriage requirement for social security survivor’s benefits is unconstitutional where same-sex couples were not able to be married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws.

If you married your same-sex spouse, but were unable to be married for at least nine months before your spouse’s death because of discriminatory marriage laws where you lived, you may be a member of the Ely class. Click here for the Ely FAQ: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/20210212_ely_faq

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