US: Pennsylvania equal marriage ban turns to challenge gay inheritance tax ban
In the US state of Pennsylvania, two women are separately challenging a policy which bans same-sex couples from taking advantage of an inheritance tax waiver which covers straight couples.
In Northampton County’s orphan’s court on Friday, Barbara Alma Baus filed a challenge saying that she married Catherine Burgi-Rios in Connecticut in 2011, and that she should have have had to pay a 15% levy on her estate.
Also this week in Harrisburg, a hearing officer at the Department of Revenue Board, is to consider a protest of the inheritance taxes which Nancy Nixon was forced to pay on the estate of her partner Jeanne Schwartz. Nixon seeks to overturn the $21,000 (£13,000) bill.
A 1996 state law defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The judge overseeing a challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on equal marriage, earlier this month paused before setting a trial date in the case.
US District Judge John Jones III said he needed time to consider and rule on pre-trial motions, before setting a date for a hearing.