Marriage Equality for the Disabled Community: We want Justice!

Marriage Equality for the Disabled Community: We want Justice!

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Natalie Jamison started this petition to Department of Justice

My name is Natalie C. Jamison and I am counting on your signature on an urgent matter involving my rights as a disabled American citizen.
With that being said, allow me to explain my current situation…

On October 10th of 2019, I got engaged to my best friend and love of my life, Matthew Lambert.
Since then we have been making plans for a wedding and trying to get our lives ready just so we could get married.
From then to now, the two of us have worked very hard to get our lives started. Matthew has a good,  steady, hard working job and together the two of us have already begun renting out an apartment together. We even had plans and had already prepared for a wedding at the end of September; I had finally picked out the dress I wanted, my bridesmaids, my maid of honor, planned a shower, a reception, everything in order right down to the music.
Until just a few days ago when I got the most gut wrenching phone call of my life. It was from the Social Security Administration, telling me that if I proceeded with getting married that “by law” they had the right to take away everything, such as my Insurance, my monthly check, my medicare, etc.
This news shocked me! Which led me to ask an array of questions as to what I could do to keep my disability and still get married and with every question the answer remained the same, “I’m sorry but we can’t help you”.


At first I was so crushed that I didn’t know what to do.
I immediately told my parents and fiance what was happening and that, for right now, the wedding would have to be put on hold.
My mother, who is a huge help with these kinds of things, tried to research and find out what we could do but it too led nowhere. But then just the other day, I was reading different articles written by other people with disabilities who were in the same situation and they all suggested contacting the Americans with Disability Act.

So here’s the bottom line.
I am twenty two years old, I have a fatal lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis; my whole life I have had to fight for my right to be normal and to be able to participate in things just like everyone else (petty situations that were always taken care of quickly then put to rest) but this is a situation that I never thought I would be in.
I want to get married.
It is my God given right as an American Citizen and I deserve to be just as happy as everyone else.
No, it’s not illegal for a disabled person to get married but due to the discriminating “rules” the SSA have now put into place, it sure feels like it’s against the law. 

I can’t just give up my disability! Having a life-threatening disease like mine, not having disability is a true matter of life or death.
At the same time, if I don’t get married, if I don’t have a wedding, if I don’t have a reception with friends and family (who have watched me grow up and struggle to live), if I don’t get to legally change my name… I will be missing out on the right that everyone else gets to have and it’s all because I have Cystic Fibrosis and need disability.

What people don’t realize is that a lot of people  with Cystic Fibrosis don’t always make it the age that I am now and if they do they are either doing okay or are dying.
Getting married is so much more than just a right, it’s a gift that I’ve watched many of my fellow C.F friends miss out on and here I am, in fairly good shape, ready to get married to the love of my life who accepts me for who I am and I can’t even get married due to the fear of losing the one thing that keeps me alive.
It’s not fair, it’s not right, and according to an article published by the Disability Rights online News back in February of 2007; it clearly states, under the 150th Civic Access Agreement that…  

“Too often, those living with disabilities have been seen as objects of embarrassment, and at best, of condescending pity and charity. Societies have even gone out of their way to ensure that persons with disabilities are neither seen or heard.
On paper, they may have enjoyed the same rights as others; in real life, they have often been relegated to the margins and denied the opportunities that others take for granted.”

I feel as though my current situation falls under this category, considering the fact that I am being “relegated” and “marginalized” by the SSA for wanting to get married.
I would also like to mention that the same article went on to state that,

“The treaty’s central purpose is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.”

To me, something as simple as getting married seems like something that would fall under “equality of opportunity” and “full participation and inclusion in society”, does it not?
All I want is the chance to get married and be happy.
This whole situation has caused so much confusion and heartache in not just my life but in the lives of everyone around me.
I don’t like being pitied.
I don’t want to be pitied.
I want to be married and I want the right to a normal life like any other American citizen.
If someone would be so kind and willing as to take the time and help my situation, it would be greatly appreciated.
I’ve tried everything that I can and I’m in desperate need of a solution. I know that this is descrimination and I need your help to fight this.


Thank you so much in advance.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!