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Nyt: I.r.s. To Recognize All Gay Marriages, Regardless Of State


Larry

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WASHINGTON — All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.


The federal rules change is one of many stemming from the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That ruling found that same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits, but left open the question of how the federal government would actually administer those benefits.


“Imagine a pair of women who marry in Albany and then move to Alabama,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote at the time of the decision. “May they file a joint federal income tax return? Does the answer turn on where they were married or where they live?”


As of the 2013 tax year, same-sex spouses cannot file federal tax returns as if they were single. Instead, they will have to opt for filing as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” The
location of their marriage — as long as it is legal — or residence does not matter: a same-sex couple who marry in Albany and move to Alabama will be treated the same as a same-sex couple who marry and live in Massachusetts.

 

Dang, I miss the :munchout: smiley. 

 

I'm sure that the bombastic claims of outrage will be all we expect. 

 

My own opinion?  I'm not sure it goes far enough. 

 

I'm thinking of a gay couple, living in some state that has a "civil union" law.  (Never having felt the urge to research the gay marriage laws of the various states, based on the assumption that it doesn't affect me, I can't name one.  So I'm going to pretend that Maryland has such a law.) 

 

Assume there's a gay couple, living in Maryland, and that Maryland has a law declaring that gay couples may have civil unions, and that said unions will not be called marriage, but that they will have all legal benefits of marriage. 

 

But, since the article states (in a part of it that I didn't quote) that the rule will not apply to civil unions, it means that said couple will have all of the benefits of marriage in Maryland, but not from the federal government, because they have a "separate but not equal" non-marriage. 

 

As I'm reading the article, if said couple wants federal recognition, then they have to go to California (or some such), to get a certificate that's called "marriage", even though the certificate they've already got promised them equality. 

 

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Although this rule does, I guess, open the door for another multi-year court case, arguing yet again the fact that "separate but equal", isn't. 

 

(An issue which I thought the court had already ruled on, but I guess we have to do it again.) 

 

Joy.  What a "benefit".  Opens the door for more litigation. 

 

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Edit:  And sure would be nice if the board would respect my capitalization, instead of down-shifting properly capitalized acronyms. 

 

[/curmudgeon]

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