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New York Alliance for Retired Americans WNY Chapter of NYSARA
Stephen Muscarella, President
NYS PEF Retirees


With More Than 500,000 Retired Union Members Living Across New York State Today, Including More Than 100,000 Right Here in Western New York, is Proud to be Working With the Representatives of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans (NYSARA) in Order to Provide Union Retirees With a Variety of Labor News and Information They Need and Just Won’t Find Anywhere Else.

The Western New York Chapter of the New York Alliance For Retired Americans Serves as the Base for Providing Union Retirees a Voice that Can Be Heard.

Stephen Muscarella is NYSARA’s President Here in Western New York and Also Serves as President of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF).

For More Information on the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans and How You Can Get Involved, Contact Stephen Muscarella Directly Via E-Mail at

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Union Retiree News From The Alliance For Retired Americans: July 2nd ‘Human Chain’ Events To Be Held Across The U.S. – Including One In Buffalo

Also: Supreme Court’s “Defense Of Marriage Act” Decision To Affect Gay Seniors Greatly & Voting Rights Decision A Major Blow To Civil Rights Of Minorities

Published Monday, July 1, 2013 12:00 pm
by Alliance For Retired Americans & WNYLT Staff

Tuesday, July 2nd ‘Human Chain’ Events To Be Held Across The U.S. – Including One In Buffalo

The Alliance For Retired Americans Alliance will be Hosting more than 45 Human Chain Against The Chained CPI Events – including one in Buffalo (See Informational Flier Below) on Tuesday, July 2nd.  They include: The Human Chain in Providence, Rhode Island that will feature U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline: and the Chain in Indianapolis that will feature U.S. Representative André Carson.  The Event in Albuquerque, New Mexico will feature U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The chained CPI is a ‘Cold, Calculated’ Benefit Cut to our Social Security - and ‘’Some Cuts Never Heal!’” Alliance President Barbara Easterling said.  Alliance Members who are Unable to Attend an Event in Person are Urged to Participate in the Day’s Action by Calling or Writing to Congress.  You can Call Congress on July 2nd at 202-224-3121.  Tell Your Representative: “I Oppose the Chained CPI Benefit Cut to Social Security.”  You can also Encourage your Member of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Resolution Rejecting the Chained CPI Benefit Cut: In the House it’s the Cicilline Resolution - H.Con.Res. 34; In the Senate, it’s the Harkin Resolution - H.Con.Res. 15.


Supreme Court’s “Defense Of Marriage Act” Decision To Affect Gay Seniors Greatly

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court Struck Down a Key Provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), meaning Spousal Benefits of Social Security and Medicare will be Extended to Married, Same-Sex Couples. The Administration on Aging estimates there are between 1.75 million and 4 million Americans over the Age of 60 who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT).  Many LGBT Seniors who Live in States with Legalized Same Sex Marriage have Wed.  Until last week, due to DOMA, these Seniors Did Not Have the Same Federal Benefits and Protections as Heterosexual Couples. This had Particularly Broad Implications with regard to Social Security.  The Social Security Spousal Retirement Benefit Allows the Partner in a Couple with the Lower Earnings Record to Receive an Amount Equal to 50% of their Spouse’s Social Security Benefits.  The Survivor Benefit allows Surviving Spouses to Receive Social Security Equivalent to what their Spouse with a Higher Earnings Record received.  LGBT Couples had also faced Discrimination in the Federal Tax Code.  Since their Marriages were not Federally Recognized, they Could Not Claim the Tax Benefits Reserved for Married Couples.  Inheriting the Estate of a Deceased Partner was Often More Complex and Costly than for Heterosexual Couples.  In another Civil Rights Ruling the same day, the Supreme Court Dismissed an Appeal over Same-Sex Marriage on Jurisdictional Grounds, Ruling that Private Parties Do Not Have Standing to Defend California's Voter-Approved Ballot Measure Barring Gay and Lesbian Couples from State-Sanctioned Wedlock.  “I am pleased that Married Gay and Lesbian Seniors will have the Same Rights as other Seniors when it comes to ‘Not Only’ Social Security, Medicare, and many Tax Issues – but also Overall Fairness,” the Alliance’s Executive Director Edward Coyle said.  “The Alliance Wholeheartedly Supports Extending the Same Rights for Older LGBT Couples that this Country does for Older, Straight Couples.”


Voting Rights Decision A Major Blow To Civil Rights Of Minorities

The Supreme Court made other decisions later week as well.  In addition to Landmark Gay Rights Cases, they Ruled on Voters’ Rights.  The Court Struck Down a Central Part of the Voting Rights Act, Invalidating Crucial Protections Passed by Congress in 1965 and Renewed Four Times in the Decades since.  The Sharply-Divided Decision will Significantly Reduce the Federal Government’s Role in Overseeing Voting Laws in Areas with a History of Discrimination against African-Americans and other Minorities.  “The Decision ‘Turns Back the Clock’ and Makes it much ‘Easier’ to Discriminate,” the Alliance’s Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said. “There is still so much to be done.  We hope Congress will act Quickly to Remedy this Terrible, Wrong Decision.”


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