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Gay couples ‘forced to lie’ on US federal tax returns today

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  1. In all the commentary I have read about legislating for gay marriage in the US, I’ve found it frustrating and odd that such a fundamental ‘issue’ should be left to the states (and in some cases to popular vote). In fact, it’s also been many of the Republican candidates’ cop-out.

    I honestly don’t understand – however fragmented the US may be – why this can’t be legislated centrally. I’ve not understood any legalistic reason why it can’t be done at a federal level – but there seems to be a reluctance to do so.

    1. jamestoronto 17 Apr 2012, 12:57pm

      The legal reason is there; it is the practicality of the legal process that is the problem. This requires an amendment to the US Constitution by one of 2 methods. The only method used to date has been the Congress-initiated method. BOTH houses of the Congress must pass the proposal by two thirds votes each — a supermajority of 67%. Then the proposal is sent to the state legislatures — a process that requires an even larger super majority. Three quarters — 75% of the states must consent. At this stage in our political struggle it will be next to impossible to attain this numbers. The bitter irony of the American process it that is only takes a simple majority — 50% + 1 to deny or take away our rights. An example of this stumbling was the failure of the equal rights for women amendment to be passed.

      1. Thanks for some clarification.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 12:14pm

    The only way it could pass is in the Congress but since it’s controlled by republicans, not going to happen. The last resort is the Supreme Court of the United States, but even there, it’s stacked with 5 out of 9 very conservative catholic judges. I don’t see it ever becoming law at the federal level for many years to come.

  3. Christopher 17 Apr 2012, 12:33pm

    So glad I’m Canadian! Thanks, my ancestors, for settling NORTH of the Great Lakes!!! The US is on its way to being Atwood’s Republic of Gilead. One wonders how a nation so full of science and innovation could be brought to its knees by a religious , willfully ignorant mindset… but then, they do demand that “god bless the USA”, do they not? They don’t ask – it’s a command! Must be nice to be a chosen people… no ned to learn geography or to pay attention to your neighbours… no healthcare, just keep using tax money for nuclear weapons…

    Interesting that they suddenly believe in science when they need cancer treatment, eyeglasses or open heart surgery…

    1. Nice one – but when they need money to keep pepole alive, it’s right wing, normally religious bigots, who get the treatment! Enjoy Canada pal!

  4. The USA really is a primitive dump when it comes to LGBT rights.

    Then again since US democracy was sold to the corporations, nothing should surprise us.

  5. While this is awful, isn’t it also absurd to make single people pay more than couples anyway? What business does the government have penalizing single people?

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 1:40pm

    How can the U.S. claim to be the freest, greatest country on earth when 50 million or more people have no access to basic health care and LGBT people are still second class citizens? I always find it amazing when the marriage equality issue surfaces that republicans who claim they don’t want big government involved in Americans’ daily lives yet they clamour for it to ban equal civil marriage and other forms of discrimination against its gay citizens.

  7. The tax situation is a nightmare – I have a US marriage and while I’m ‘married’ in my state for tax purposes, my federal tax status is ‘single’.

    How screwed up is that!?!

    1. darkmoonman 17 Apr 2012, 7:16pm

      Don’t forget that this year those of us who in Gay marriages and/or in domestic partnerships had to complete incoming averaging forms in an attempt to make us pay more taxes to the Fed.

  8. Miguel Sanchez 17 Apr 2012, 3:12pm

    I hate this. The headline is so totally misleading. Gay couples aren’t FORCED TO LIE, they have to follow the law and right now, the screwed up Federal Government does not give same sex unions the same rights as straights.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 3:51pm

      Of course they’re forced to lie. Apparently, if an American gay married couple tfile a joint return and tick “married”, the tax return can be returned to the couple because there is no federal recognition of same-sex marriage, that’s why they have to tick “single”. This happened to a couple I know who live in the state of Massachusetts.

  9. At the risk of over simplifying the problem and keeping in mind that I’m from the UK and have thus never seen a US tax form, what is to stop a gay couple that are legally married from filling out the form as if they were a man and a woman legally married?

    I mean, sure one person would have to be called the ‘wife’ for the purposes of the form (which is absurd, I know) but if its going to save you some money… I’m not saying stop campaigning to have the form amended and have the marriage recognised on a state level; I’m just saying why cant you fill it out that way until they come to their senses?

    1. Recognised on a federal level, I meant **

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 3:55pm

      The couple I know who live in Massachusetts where equal civil marriage is legal told me that they can file a joint state tax return but not the federal return. They had to tick “single” on the federal form when they resubmitted the federal form. You can be fined or jailed or both for falsifying a government document apparently. It’s sad that not even our American brothers and sisters legally married in several states still aren’t accorded full marriage equality because of this injustice.

  10. It’s sad :(

    Marriage for same sex couples should be legal in every US state and territory, and fully recognized

    DOMA isn’t defending marriage, it’s hurting it, and the only thing it’s defending is outdated beliefs

    1. Once again, whatever benefits the government. I can’t wait for the day where same sex marriages are equal in law.

  11. Another hurdle our American gay brothers and sisters need to jump. Must be mind boggling in this day and age (and seeing across the pond the strides we’ve made) to have to put up with such blatant hatred – and having been been fed the land of the free…bla bla bla – must be even worse.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 17 Apr 2012, 6:09pm

      Although we’ve yet to get over the hurdle to equal civil marriage, we in the UK have done far more for our LGBT people, far more in a far shorter time. Who would have thought two years ago, we’d be having a marriage equality consultation under a conservative coalition government? It still makes me proud to be British in spite of the last remaining obstacle(s) to full equality.

  12. Jacob Dugan-Brause 17 Apr 2012, 10:17pm

    And for this married in Canada, US citizen now living in the UK, filing my US tax separately a few days ago was a reminder of why we left. Yes, we have to lie to comply IRS regulations and to avoid heavy fines.

    Just as I cannot declare my husband when I reenter the USA on a trip, I cannot claim that I am married on my taxes.

    I just wish the USA would leave us alone — I’m not an expat, I’m an immigrant — but we pay taxes there while we pay taxes in the UK, our adopted home. Loads of fun with a great inequality added, for that ‘special’ touch.


  13. billywingartenson 18 Apr 2012, 6:32am

    One little thing i did re our census – I’m str8 and married but my wifes name can occasionally be used as a mans name/

    On the census i put us down as a gay male couple.

    Just symbolic but like my cross made of two dildos, its my way of supporting our gay friends and teaching the children about the bigotry of some xtian churches..

    theres probably a couple thosand kids who have seen that cross and will properly have no respect for the Islam of the western world.

  14. billywingartenson 18 Apr 2012, 6:41am

    Some one mentioned that america would become like atwoods republic of Gilead.

    I had to look that one up. In simple terms, thats about a story where america becomes a christian saudi Arabia / Iran.

    Which btw is exactly what the extremist xtians want. Even the catholic church isnt this crazy.

  15. billywingartenson 18 Apr 2012, 6:42am

    Some one mentioned that america would become like atwoods republic of Gilead.

    I had to look that one up. In simple terms, thats about a story where america becomes a christian saudi Arabia / Iran .

    Which btw is exactly what the extremist xtians want. Even the catholic church isnt this crazy.

  16. Gay Activist Number 297 18 Apr 2012, 6:49am

    Repeal DOMA now Congress!

  17. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 18 Apr 2012, 6:51am

    The United State being the “land of the free” – my arse it is. You are treated with equality – except if your latino, black or gay!

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