Top Of My Head

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Tag: Gay (page 2 of 2)

Gay Tax InEquality

I know that I harp on this subject a lot.  The tax inequality between a gay couple and a straight married couple is unfair.  By not allowing gays to get married, you make two people pay more in taxes than a straight married couple.  How can that possibly be fair?  How can people fight against gay marriage when faced with the facts that this means an inequality in taxes?  I truly believe those people who keep insisting on lower taxes and smaller government, yet keep fighting against gay marriage are – quite possibly – the world’s biggest hypocrites.

So, last week, I went and saw my parents and I tried to explain the tax inequality to my mother – who doesn’t get it.  I’m writing this article for her.  Maybe, she’ll get it.  You can do the math, just like I did, by going to the IRS website and filling out the numbers.  It works out the same every time – the gay couple pays more.

Gay Couple Salary 401k Federal Tax
Person #1 $60,000.00 $3,000.00 $7,700.00
Person #2 $40,000.00 $2,000.00 $3,483.00
Total $100,000.00 $5,000.00 $11,183.00
Straight Couple Salary 401k Federal Tax
Person #1 $60,000.00 $3,000.00
Person #2 $40,000.00 $2,000.00 Difference
Total $100,000.00 $5,000.00 $10,644.00 $539.00

That probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but over the course of a lifetime together, that’s quite a bit of money.  Now, if the spouses are evenly split with their salary, the difference works out to the gay couple paying $6.00 more than the straight couple.  Still, not a lot of money, but the amount isn’t really the point – it could just be a penny more – the fact that gay people pay more in taxes is unfair.  Further, I don’t know about your friends, but I don’t know too many couples who are completely and equally matched in salary.  I would say that roughly 90% of the couples I know – when both members work – one spouse consistently out earns the other spouse.  It is certainly true in my household.  I earn almost twice as much as Cheryl does.

One other item regarding taxes:  when a straight couple gets married, each spouse is able to place the other on their employer provided healthcare.  They do not pay any extra on this benefit.  Unmarried, domestic partners have to pay income taxes on the portion of the premium paid for by their employer.  Does that sound fair or even intelligent?  43 million Americans are without healthcare and we make it harder for domestic partners to add their other halves to employer sponsored healthcare.  Does that make sense?  What is wrong with people?

Customer’s Turned Away From Bakery – for being GAY?

Just Cookies, which operates in a City run market in Indiana, turned away a gay student group that wanted to purchase rainbow cupcakes for a National Coming Out Day party.  The owner citied that the company is family owned business and that they have “two young, impressionable daughters and we thought that maybe it would be best not to do that.”

Okay, on one hand, I see a business owner turning away customers and that is his right.  If he wants to lose business because of his own morals – what’s the big deal?

On the other hand, I think if you’re in a city-run market space, then you’ve given up the right to discriminate against a customer because you don’t hold their beliefs.  Would the city tolerate a Christian business owner turning away customers because they want a Star of David on their cupcakes?

Finally, I think the business owner did more harm than good to his business.  Turning away this student group has brought him the kind of publicity that, in this economy, will do him more harm than good.  Did he really need people to know his own anti-gay beliefs?  He might have gay customers or gay-friendly customers that will no longer shop at his bakery.

For example, I love the kringle from O&H Bakery here in Racine.  I purchase it once every 13 weeks to bring to work on my treat day.  I spend around $30.00.  As far as I know, O&H Bakery is family owned and operated.  But, if they turned away a student group wanting rainbow cupcakes, I would switch to a different bakery or find something else to bring in on treat day.  Sure, they’d only lose $120.00 per year, but if other gay people did the same thing, that might add up to thousands of dollars.

I believe this business owner has made a huge mistake in order to keep to his own moral standard.

See the video here.
 

The Constitution and Gay Marriage

I don’t understand how anyone can claim that gay marriage is against the Constitution.  I really do not understand.  The 14th Amendment clearly states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (emphasis mine)

Whether you like gay people or not.  Whether you agree with gay marriage or not.  The 14th Amendment clearly states that we are to all be treated equally.  The ability to marry in this country isn’t a right, it is a privilege.  Being able to file taxes together, make medical decisions for each other, inherit from each other and make legal decisions for each other is a privilege.  If all couples are not treated equally under the law, then there shouldn’t be legal marriages.  Period.

What makes my brother, Brian’s, marriage to Tara better than my marriage to Cheryl?  Why should they be allowed to file taxes together?  Or, inherit from each other?

Case in point – and something I’ve discussed with my brother – if one of my siblings proceeds our parents in death (God forbid), their heirs (i.e., wife and children) inherit a third of my parents’ estate.  However; if I proceed my parents in death (again, God forbid), Cheryl gets nothing.  Because the state refuses to acknowledge our relationship legally and morally, Cheryl is not considered an heir of my parents.

Is that fair?  Is it just?  Is it right?

No, no and no.

Do my parents consider Cheryl less of a daughter-in-law than Robyn and Tara?

Again, no.

But, legally, there’s nothing to protect her.  Granted, my parents could make a provision in their will, my brothers could split my parents’ estate with her or whatever.  That really is beside the point.  They shouldn’t have to do anything.  She should be my legal heir via a marriage license – just as Robyn and Tara are Scott and Brian’s legal heirs.

Anything less is unconstitutional.

Living the Straight Life

This week, I read a quick post somewhere that mentioned how gays are always shoving their lifestyles down straights’ throats.  And, I thought about it for a little while and it dawned on me that the writer must not realize how “straight” the world is.
When I mention that I’m married, to someone I’ve just met, they usually ask me about my husband. Most people do a double take when I mention that I have a wife. 
Recently, when I filled out an online form for work, I entered Cheryl as my spouse.  The system filled in her sex as male.  HR had to fix it.  A computer system assumed that I was straight.
We get phone calls asking for one of us that the other will take, when I say Mrs. _______ isn’t here, I’m asked if the caller could speak to Mr. ______.   From insurance forms to phone calls and even those dreaded taxes, as a gay person, I’m constantly reminded that the world is geared for straight people.
This isn’t a complaint, I get it.  There’s more straights than gays.  It’s like being left handed.  I read somewhere that 10% of the population is left handed.  The world is geared for right handed people.
But, no one tells someone who is left handed that they are shoving their lifestyle down a right handed person’s throat.
Gays are 10% of the population, why is it when we want to be treated as full members of American society, we’re shoving our lifestyle down society’s throat?
I don’t have an answer.  I just don’t.  I just live in a straight world.  It’s getting better, but we could improve it.

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