PRIDE Act passed by US House to refund taxes to same-sex couples
The Promoting Respect for Individuals’ Dignity and Equality Act of 2019, or PRIDE Act of 2019, was passed by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 24).
If passed by the Senate and signed into law by Donald Trump, the PRIDE Act will allow same-sex married couples to get refunds on taxes they filed before same-sex marriage was legalised and the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) was overturned.
DOMA prevented couples who should have been able to file their taxes together from doing so, and according to a report by the Joint Committee on Taxation, same-sex couples are owed an estimated $57 million.
California congresswoman Judy Chu said in a statement: “This bill corrects injustices in our laws that failed to recognise the reality of legal same-sex marriage in our country.”
The PRIDE Act would also remove gendered language from the tax code, like “husband” and “wife,” and replace it with language like “married couple” and “they.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: “Discrimination has no place in our society or in our laws.
“In passing the PRIDE Act, Democrats are honouring our diversity and providing long-overdue justice to countless same-sex couples across the country who have been denied critical tax refunds because of who they are and who they love.
“By eliminating gendered language that discriminates against same-sex couples and putting money directly back into the pockets of families who have earned it, this critical legislation offers common sense fixes that modernise our tax code and honour our bedrock values.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren previously tweeted: “It wasn’t until marriage equality became law that gay and lesbian couples could jointly file tax returns—so they paid more in taxes.
“Our government owes them more than $50M for the years our discriminatory tax code left them out. We must right these wrongs.”