Once you and your spouse are working and paying social security, you both qualify for a pension, death benefits, among others forms of Social security assistance. But it is not that simple at all for those living in same sex relationships. Social Security does not recognize that partnership so that couple is pretty much on their own. It's in the law and today members from the Promoting Empowerment through Awareness for Lesbian and Bi-Sexual Women's group, PETAL hosted a forum at the Radisson to address this very pressing issue. Here is more from the event.

Simone Hill, PETAL, Coordinator
"What we wanted to do here at PETAL is to look at Social Security, what was happening before in the past maybe before social security came in to be and now what is going on with social security and where it will take us in the future. We are also as organization who look after the needs of women particularly lesbian and bi-sexual women, we are looking to see if there are any gaps as it concerns women who identify as Lesbian and bi-sexual."

Chandra Cansino, General Manager, Policy & Programs SSB
"One of the questions we anticipated was coverage of women in same sex marriages. And at this time Social Security still covers women and men in common law relationships and marriages as men and women not as men and men and women and women. Social Security can't unilaterally change those laws. We have to abide by the legislation so I believe going forward organizations like Petal and others that are represented here will have to be very much included in the conversation and lobbying for change to take place."

Simone Hill, PETAL, Coordinator
"It is always important for people to know their rights, know the laws and how they can get to work the laws and as we are moving deeper into the 21st century there is a new way how people must go about gaining their rights."

This move to amend the legislation certainly won't come overnight but PETAL will draft a proposal to present to government.

Channel 7