August 30th, 2013
Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the Treasury Department has ruled that same-sex married couples will be treated just like all married couples when they file their tax returns, regardless of whether they currently live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. That’s the good news for many and bad news for those whose combined incomes when filed as married pushes them into a higher tax bracket. Those are the breaks.
But the good news for everyone is that the Treasury Department’s determination on how same-sex couples will be treated on taxes means that they will be treated as married couples with federal estate and gift taxes, and the tax breaks that married couples get when a spouse is covered under an employer-provided health plan. Until now, the cost of those benefits was seen as extra income that was taxed at the full rate.
The ruling does not apply to couples who have domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other non-marriage arrangements. Married couples have the option of filing an amended return to claim refunds for tax years 2010 through 2012.
For married couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriage, life can become interesting when they go to file the state income taxes this year. Before yesterday’s ruling, couples in, say, Massachusetts had to fill out their Federal forms twice: once as single individual for Federal tax purposes, and again as a married couple to figure out what their correct (and lower) Massachusetts state income tax would be. That’s because most state governments peg their state taxes according to what you paid at the federal level. But now that what married couples will be paying a different rate at the federal level, it’s unclear what the 37 states which do not recognize same-sex marriage will require their residents to do:
“I expect what will happen is that Ohio will say you have to file as single, and that they will do that based on the constitutional amendment,” (Lambda Legal director John) Davidson said. Santa Clara University Law professor Patricia Cain agreed, telling BuzzFeed states like Ohio with such amendments will have to “change their state income tax reporting rules to unhook them from federal reporting.”
Looking at a pending case in which a federal judge in Ohio has questioned Ohio’s failure to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur, who married in another state, however, Davidson also said, “But, as the Obergefell decision suggests, this is just going to prompt more litigation.”
Davidson pointed out that, in addition to Ohio, there are federal lawsuits by same-sex couples seeking marriage recognition pending in federal courts in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia and state lawsuits pending in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and Texas.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.