San Francisco • 16 April 2012 ― As millions of Americans file their income taxes, the local chapters of Marriage Equality USA will participate in the annual National Tax Day Protest at local post offices around the country on April 17, holding signs like “Twenty-Five Years Together, Still Filing Single” “No Taxation with Discrimination” and “Tax Us the Same, Treat Us the Same” to call attention to the tax inequities facing same-sex couples as a result of the state and federal laws that refuse to recognize or extend civil marriage protections to same-sex couples. These actions highlight the ongoing moral and financial costs of denying marriage equality to same-sex couples—as well as the consequences paid by all Americans as a result of these discriminatory state and federal laws.
“We will stand up every year for equal taxation without discrimination, until we have full federal equality for all Americans,” said Billy Bradford, who will be leading the protest in Oakland, California.
Same-sex couples are forced to lie on their federal tax returns, explains Marriage Equality USA’s Thom Watson: “It’s that crazy time of year again when the IRS requires you to affirm under penalty of law that you have been completely truthful on your tax forms, while simultaneously the Defense of Marriage Act actually mandates that some US couples lie on their tax forms. The federal government requires us to check off the ‘Single’ box on our 1040s, and to file as single, even when we’re not. Our government forces us to lie, and charges us more for the privilege.”
Ellen Pontac, who will be leading the protest in Davis, California with her wife Shelly Bailes, explains another basic reason why tax time is even more cumbersome same-sex couples: “Same-sex Registered Domestic Partners and same-sex married couples in California are required to fill out a total of four income tax forms when different sex married couples need to fill out only two – making tax time doubly cruel for same-sex couples.”
“Because of the additional requirements and complexity, most same-sex couples are forced by the government to spend more money and time to do their taxes than similarly situated opposite-sex couples,” added Thom Watson.
“We are encouraged by the recent successful legal challenges the so called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal courts. But until America fulfills its promise of equal justice under the law, tax day will continue to be an annual day of reckoning for how our couples and families face institutionalized discrimination – and are often forced to pay more than their fellow citizens to the same government that denies us equal rights,” concluded Stuart Gaffney, Marriage Equality USA Media Director.
CA Alameda County
When: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Time: 5:30–7:00 PM PDT
Where: Oakland Main Post Office
1675 7th St (1 block from the West Oakland BART Station)
Oakland, CA 94615-0002
CA Sacramento County
When: Tuesday, April 17th
Time: 8:00 PM PDT
Where: West Sacramento Post Office
3775 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95799-0102
When: Tuesday, 4/17/12
Time: 5:00-7:00 PM EDT
Where: Chester Main Post Office
12300 Rock Hill Road Chester, VA 23831