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A retired electrical engineer, Sagen receives higher Social Security payments than his 79-year-old partner, Ken Hoole.

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They are part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to expand whatever protections he can offer to gays and lesbians even though more than half of the states don’t recognize gay marriage.

That effort has been confounded by laws that say some benefits should be conferred only to couples whose marriages are recognized by the states where they live, rather than the states where they were married.

Windsor that struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, enabling the federal government to start granting benefits to married same-sex couples.

“If I was to die, it would be really significant for Ken,” Sagen said in an interview.

“Not only is it financially beneficial, but psychologically it’s beneficial.