Recently, I was invited to join AbilityPath’s virtual Healthy Relationships Class. The class invited me because they were interested in learning more about and supporting a piece of federal legislation introduced by Representative Jimmy Panetta.
In July 2023, Representative Jimmy Panetta of California’s 19th congressional district, which includes portions of Santa Clara County, reintroduced The Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act.
Under current law, adults with disabilities lose federal benefits if they marry a non-disabled person, with few exceptions.
I’ve been working with the Healthy Relationships Class on a grassroots advocacy campaign to support the legislation, which according to Rep. Panetta he authored “to allow individuals with lifelong disabilities to marry without compromising their benefits and wellbeing. Every American, no matter who they are and without being penalized, should be able to marry who they love.”
The class has:
- Written letters to their Congressional representatives asking them to support Rep. Panetta’s legislation.
- Written letters of thanks to Rep. Panetta for authoring the legislation.
- Created a campaign so that our friends and family can contact their congressional representatives with one click.
Please TAKE ACTION NOW and share our campaign with your friends and family. This is just one example of outdated legislation that needs to be updated to fully realize our vision of a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected, and included.
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AbilityPath Auxiliary Advocacy Committee
The Advocacy Committee shall identify opportunities to advocate for those with special needs and developmental disabilities via public forums and social media in order to further our shared message of acceptance, respect, and inclusion. Additionally, the Advocacy Committee will inform our community and supporters about important legislative issues impacting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the local, state and national levels, enabling interested parties to take appropriate action.