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A Letter to Rep. Panetta in Support of the Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act

Published Wednesday, Feb. 23rd, 2022

On January 13, 2022, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA 20), introduced a bill to Congress called the Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act (H.R.6405) in an effort to amend several laws that serve as a barrier to marriage for many disabled Americans. 


Currently, DACs (Disabled Adult Children) are at risk of losing their medical benefits through Social Security and Medicaid when they marry a non-disabled adult. This loss of necessary benefits effectively keeps many DACs from marrying the people they love. 


If passed, H.R. 6405 would amend the current laws to remove this penalty and maintain the benefits for qualifying adults – creating more equal access to marriage for DACs and their partners. (Read the full bill here.)


AMM reached out to Rep. Panetta in support of this empowering legislation. See our letter below, and if you feel strongly about this issue, consider contacting your representatives to offer your opinion on the bill. 





February 22, 2022


The Honorable Jimmy Panetta 
406, Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20003


RE: H.R.6405 - Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act


Dear Congressman Panetta, 


I’m writing to you on behalf of American Marriage Ministries (AMM), an interfaith and non-denominational constitutional church with ministers living in every state, including thousands in California’s 20th Congressional District. We’re passionate advocates for marriage equality, and we support the Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act you introduced last month. 


AMM was founded on the belief that all people have the right to marry, and everything we do – through ordination, minister training, and advocacy – is to support, celebrate, and protect this constitutional right. We believe that marriage is a right, not a privilege.


The Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act would eliminate a serious barrier to marriage for people with disabilities, and improve the lives of countless Americans, their partners, and their families, by ensuring that everyone has the same access to marriage. 


Currently, DACs (Disabled Adult Children) can marry, but risk losing essential medical benefits through Social Security when they marry a non-disabled person. This choice between life-sustaining benefits and marital happiness can hardly be considered a fair one, and causes many partnered DACs to remain unmarried, despite a wish to marry. 


As you’ve said, the Act would accomplish 4 things:  


  • Eliminate the requirement that a DAC beneficiary be unmarried.
  • Eliminate the rule that removes DAC benefits should a beneficiary marry.
  • Change Social Security’s rules about common law marriages.
  • Ensure that, in a marriage between a DAC beneficiary and any other person, both spouses may continue to receive SSI and Medicaid as if they were unmarried.


We support making these changes to the current laws. As it stands, they create an unfair penalty for DACs who wish to marry the person they love. Disabled adults should be able to marry without losing their benefits – no one should be asked to choose between medical benefits and happiness. 




Lewis King, AMM Executive Director 



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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

Lewis King
Lewis King

Staff Writer

Lewis loves exploring the space between power, discourse, and material reality where institutions like marriage are defined. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling and restocking the sparkling water.

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