Gay Marriage | Social Security | South Carolina

Lesbian Parents Not Recognized As Married, Son Denied Social Security Benefits: VIDEO

Lisa and Melody Rawson and son

Lisa and Melody Rawson of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina have an adopted son who suffers from multiple medical conditions, including spina bifida. When they were living in New York they received a monthly $600 social security check to cover the cost of his medical expenses. However, the New York winters were too harsh for him so this past September they moved to South Carolina, at which point they promptly stopped receiving any benefits at all.

The reason? South Carolina's state computer system won't allow Lisa and Melody to both be listed as his parents. As a result the paperwork cannot be processed, so their son's medical benefits are denied by default. The Rawsons have tried contacting Social Security, the Justice Department, and Congress but allege being given the runaround.

You can see a video interview with the Rawsons AFTER THE JUMP..., Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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  1. There are things to love about New York.

    Posted by: Markt | Jan 18, 2014 9:05:44 AM

  2. This is what NOM, AFA and FRC mean when they say they are "protecting families" but fighting against marriage equality. What they're really doing is endangering thousands of families who don't fit the mold they demand. It's disgusting that they are allowed to be called pro family groups.

    Posted by: Brad | Jan 18, 2014 9:16:52 AM

  3. I am so sick and tired of the NOM and the AFA. I get nausea when I even hear their acronyms. Here, a seemingly legitimate (and apparently diagnosed) medical condition is denied benefits because inequality and because of the hate NOM sells.

    Well, everyone, here is the unbridled truth. The NOM, the AFA and all of the other "family values hypocrites" are adulterers, alcoholics, drug addicts and closeted homosexuals.

    They have sin within their ranks just as all of us do. We were created no less equal than they were. We are all equal and we have the rights to those rights that they have enjoyed down through the ages.

    Those rights are a constitutional entitlement, and I positively will not stop fighting for those rights until the day comes when all of the rights are doled out equally and fairly throughout this nation.

    Right now (thank God in my lifetime) the tables are turning and gradually it is actually becoming unpopular to use the LGBT issue in political discussions. Finally, I am feeling as though at least some of the people who are running for public office aren't using what I do in my private life as some kind of a whipping boy in order to get their hateful votes.

    The boy needs his benefits, and he is entitled to them. Someone needs to do the right thing and correct this. Quickly.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 18, 2014 9:39:31 AM

  4. Welcome to South Carolina, one of the most, if not the mos,t bigoted state in the nation. Our good governor supports allowing civil rights to be unconstitutionally legislated by back-woods voters. Hopefully, our federal government and supreme court justices can see the injustice of these laws created by our ignorant population and ignorant governer. Whom, she herself, would be discriminated against by her own constituents is she allow her civil rights to come up for a vote. She is, after all, of East Indian descent AND a woman. She is a dispicable example of leadership for our state and hopefully, soon will be gone from taking our state back, yet another, notch from humanity.

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Jan 18, 2014 9:59:33 AM

  5. Why would they move to South Carolina? Did they have family or a support system there? Why move anywhere in the south? I lived there for a while and it is the worst place I can imagine living, gay or straight. If they wanted a warm place to live for their son they could have moved to California, or Maryland, or Delaware, all states that recognize our relationships. I'm not saying SC doesn't need to share the blame, but it seems to me that if the parents are going to relocate for the health of their child, the FIRST thing they are going to investigate is the financial security of his medical treatment payments.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 18, 2014 10:29:55 AM

  6. @Mark

    That's what I was thinking.

    Now cost of living could have been a consideration and there are a lot of gay families in the South for exactly those reasons but if you must move to...say...South Carolina or Georgia then you need to check everything and do the necessary paperwork to protect him.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jan 18, 2014 10:36:43 AM

  7. Who in their right mind would move to SC? Surely this couple would've known it is not a welcoming state for LGBTs. I understand the weather can be harsh in NY but is the warm climate in the south worth losing your dignity? Try New Mexico.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jan 18, 2014 12:14:01 PM

  8. @mark Seriously. I feel bad for the kid, but this sounds like the plot to a bad sitcom where two not-so-smart people trying to do the right thing make obviously bad choices that make a mess of their lives. South Carolina? Seriously? I hope they're better parents than their extremely poor decision making skills would have us believe.

    Posted by: Rawn | Jan 18, 2014 12:17:39 PM

  9. South Carolina may have had friends or family and maybe other reasons that they chose that warm state. And it sounds like staying in NYC was not an option due to the health of the child.
    This is the kind of story that needs to make national news to show the families that are hurt by the likes of groups claiming to protect families.

    Posted by: 604brian | Jan 18, 2014 12:23:34 PM

  10. Sounds like a great case to overturn Section 2 of DOMA.

    Posted by: Lexis | Jan 18, 2014 1:07:18 PM

  11. It doesn't particularly matter, imo. This sounds like great fodder for a court case in combination with a benefactor organization covering the cost of the child's medical needs.

    Here we have a state that is denying federal benefits to a couple that the federal government legally recognizes as married.

    Posted by: RJ | Jan 18, 2014 2:03:07 PM

  12. The header says "Disabled boy pays price for parents' same-sex marriage". Would he be getting the money if they hadn't married?

    Posted by: TKinSC | Jan 19, 2014 7:09:09 AM

  13. There is information missing here. First of all Social Security Does not pay living expenses. Second if he is under 18 he only qualifies for SSI under his disability and his parents income which would mean the parents were impoverished. Social Security Does not rely on a State Data base, they simply would have reported that they moved., and unfortunately then been turned off anyway as Social Security requires you to be living in a state that recognizes your marriage.

    Posted by: Anthony | Jan 19, 2014 12:59:54 PM

  14. Any update on this story?

    Posted by: Rawn | Mar 10, 2014 7:47:44 PM

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