The U.S. public is embroiled in debate over same-sex relationship recognition, centering on the legal institution of marriage. This paper examines same-sex marriage, civil unions, and reciprocal beneficiary agreements (RBAs) to identify the relationship recognition policy that can most effectively meet the needs of older (age 65 and above) lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. This paper recommends reciprocal beneficiary agreements, which provide medical decision-making, inheritance, and other important rights to any two adults who cannot marry each other, as the most feasible, effective, and just relationship recognition policy for older same-sex couples. The need of transgender couples for a gender-inclusive policy is identified and considered.
- Civil union
- Reciprocal beneficiary