Why Marriage Matters
Three Days ’til Tax Day:
Second-class status equals a first-class headache at tax time.
Everyone knows what marriage is, but what are civil unions and domestic partnerships?
Civil unions and domestic partnerships have been created by some states to give some benefits of marriage to same-sex couples, while withholding the full equality of marriage itself. These new legal terms cause a lot of confusion during tax time.
Why create second-class citizenship and more confusion instead of just allowing couples into the system we already have—marriage?
Did you know…
· For filing taxes with civil unions and domestic partnerships, tax professionals are a near-requirement (and added expense) for couples to understand how to receive many of the protections intended by state law.
· Since the federal government only recognizes marriage, same-sex couples who have civil unions or domestic partnerships still do not get any of the 1,138 federal protections, rights, and responsibilities that come with marriage.
Get Active! Get Engaged!
Now what should you do with this information? How can you help? When you are talking about filing taxes this week, talk about these inequalities. And keep talking…
Talk to your neighbors. Tell your own story. Educate yourself. Contact your elected representatives. Get to know your local and statewide political advocacy organizations. Contact the leaders of groups of which you are a member. Write a newspaper, magazine, TV station, radio station or other media outlet. Create a visibility event. Host or sponsor a house party. Host or sponsor a family picnic. Ask someone you know — or everyone you know — to get engaged in this movement. Talk to your religious leaders about how to engage your faith community.
Who can you call to get answers to your specific tax-related questions?
Individuals, couples and families seeking tax advice should contact a personal tax preparer, accountant, or attorney.
If you are a reporter or an attorney with questions about tax time and marriage equality, contact Lambda Legal.
For a full list of the protections denied same sex couples and their kids, see “Appendix B” of Evan Wolfson’s book, Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality & Gay People’s Right to Marry.