Marriage Equality USA

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Lawsuits - Pending

Williams v. Colvin

Case #: 1:14-cv-08874
Court Level: 
Federal District Court
Date Filed: 
6 November 2014
Date of Appeal: 


  • 6 November 2014, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Dave Williams, a widower, formerly of Arkansas, now a Chicagoan, who was denied spousal benefits after the death of his husband, Carl Allen.
  • From Lambda legal: "Dave and Carl were a loving married couple living in Arkansas. After Carl became disabled in 2009, Dave cared for him at home until Carl’s untimely death in 2010. Now the SSA is denying this grieving widower benefits as a spouse, only because this same-sex couple lived in Arkansas, a state that discriminated against their marriage when one of them tragically died. Dave is just one of thousands of same-sex spouses who married the love of their life. Widows, widowers and retirees, wherever they live, need Social Security spousal benefits, earned through years of hard work, to support them as they age. No one should have to fight to be treated with respect by their federal government while they grieve the passing of their spouse."

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