Thursday, January 09, 2014

MISSOURI: Heterosexual Supremacists Sue To Prevent Same-Sex Couples From Filing Joint Tax Returns

Well, well! One of the pressing questions in the year after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the subsequent decision by the federal government to generally recognize same-sex marriages for benefits purposes is how will the states deal with legal same-sex marriages from other states. Missouri distinguished itself when Gov. Jay Nixon (D) announced that he would issue an executive order that would allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns despite the presence of a mini-DOMA in its constitution.

The idea that same-sex couples would have the same rights as opposite-sex couples in the area of filing state tax returns has rubbed some heterosexual supremacists the wrong way and they are filing a lawsuit to overturn Gov. Nixon's executive order.
The lawsuit asks Nixon's order be declared unconstitutional. It was filed by officials from the Missouri Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission and the Missouri Family Policy Council
Missouri's tax code is tied to the federal code. Nixon said couples who file joint federal returns must file state taxes jointly. Federal officials determined legally married same-sex couples would be treated as married regardless of where they live.
PROMO, Missouri's LGBT advocacy group issued a statement responding to the lawsuit whose sole purpose is to deny an equal benefit to a class of people from people who already enjoy that benefit.
"Gov. Nixon's pragmatic and reasonable order ensures that Missouri income tax law continues to mirror the Federal Treasury and IRS. This order gives clear and equal guidance to all legally married couples in Missouri about how to complete their state income tax returns. The plaintiffs have no grounds to file this case, the Governor's order should stand." 
Apparently there is another lawsuit in Kansas challenging that state's decision to not allow same-sex couples who are married to file joint state tax returns.

This is an issue that affects me directly. Since I lived in Virginia intermittently for the last two years while I worked for the federal government I have to file a Virginia tax return. But Virginia is refusing to recognize the (married filing jointly) tax return I filed with the United States and California. Virginia claims I owe tax on income that my husband earned in California! My tax professional is in communication with Virginia but things do not look good.

Stay tuned...

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