Last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional. That means that gay people in states that recognize or have gay marriage will have their marriages recognized. This is good – for them.
For those of us who are gay, in non-legally recognized marriages and living in the wrong states, nothing has changed. We still do not have the right to inheritance, hospital visitations and joint income tax returns. It, also, means we don’t have the responsibilities and protections that marriage offers.
There are legal ways around this. My wife and I have registered as Domestic Partners, so we have some of these rights. And, prior to Domestic Partnerships being legal in my state, we had signed power of attorneys for health and legal matters.
What we can’t do is file a marriage, filing jointly income tax return. And, this is what burns my butt.
By myself, I will pay $12,260 in Federal Income Taxes in 2013. My wife (who earns less than I do) will pay $2,978. Together, that’s $15,238. (This is based on the IRS Withholding Calculator.) Using the same calculator, I calculated what we would owe if we could file as a married filing jointly couple and the amount is $13,901. That’s $1,337 less than what we’re separately paying now.
I don’t think I’m receiving $1,337 in extra Federal Benefits, do you? What am I getting for this money? Why is MY marriage not recognize by the Federal government because a bunch of bigots didn’t want gay marriage nine years ago – and they won. (By cheating, the question was worded so that yes meant against gay marriage and no meant for gay marriage. I can’t tell you the number of my friends who were happy it passed, because they couldn’t figure out the difference.)
In any case, we have a long way to go.