Some people want to reduce marriage to just a few words. They say that marriage is simply a relationship between a man and a woman. They are wrong.
Marriage strikes passion in people because it is such a personal issue. It is so much more that a contract between two adults and the government.
While some states allow same-sex couples to marry, the federal government still does not recognize these marriages. Same-sex couples pay more in taxes and receive fewer benefits than married heterosexual couples.
- No Option in Filing Income Taxes: Married same-sex couples do not have the same option of filing joint tax returns for federal income tax purposes that can save families money. Thus, even if they are able to file taxes as a married couple for the state, these same-sex couples must file for federal taxes as if they were single.
- Taxation of Health Insurance Benefits: The federal government taxes employer-provided benefits for domestic partners (as opposed to spousal coverage) as income to the employee; therefore, ultimately costing same-sex couples and their employers $235 million in additional income and payroll taxes.
- Lack of Protection from Estate Taxes: The federal government also does not afford same-sex couples protection from estate taxes. In other words, if one member of a same-sex couple passes away, he or she cannot leave assets (such as property) to the other spouse without incurring any taxes. Just this year, this will affect an estimated 73 same-sex couples, costing them each, on average, more than $3.3 million.
- Further Denial of Federal Benefits: Same-sex couples do not have access to other entitlements such as Social Security spousal benefits, the ability to be included in a family policy of health insurance, medical leave to care for an ailing spouse, and the ability of a citizen to obtain a visa for a non-citizen spouse.
Overall, under the Defense of the Marriage Act, the federal government denies lawfully married couples and contributing taxpayers the federal benefits and responsibilities entitled to them solely based on their sexual orientation.
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