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August 29, 2013 Print

IRS to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

by Bethany Monk

The IRS will consider same-sex marriages as the equivalent of marriage for tax purposes. The recognition will apply even if a same-sex couple is legally married in one state, but lives in   another that has not redefined marriage.

The Treasury Department and IRS made the announcement today. This comes two months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Although disappointing to many, today’s decision reminds us how important it is to stand for God’s design for the institution.

“While it’s discouraging to see the president use his authority to push the nation further toward redefining marriage, we should remember that the policies of earthly kings ultimately cannot supersede the laws of God,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director for Public Policy, Focus on the Family. “Fortunately, people of faith still have a voice and a vote, and opportunity to raise up both in the defense of God’s design for marriage.”

President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law in 1996. On June 26, the Court struck down Section 3. This means the federal government cannot define marriage for its own policies and law. It must accept whatever states decide. The ruling does not affect Section 2 that says no state is required to recognize another state’s redefinition of marriage.

Today’s decision means same-sex married couples, in general, may file their 2013 federal income tax return as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.”

People who were in same-sex marriages have the options of filing amended or new returns to be recognized as “married” for federal tax purposes for one of more prior tax years, according to Fox News.

Though the Supreme Court ruling inspired mainstream media outlets to report the so-called advancement of same-sex marriage, it’s important to remember that 38 states still affirm the institution.

The District of Columbia and 12 states — Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington —  have all redefined marriage either by legislation or court order.

“A vast majority of states still define marriage as one man and one woman,” Earll explained. “Traditional marriage is still by far the norm and that’s an important fact to remember.” 

Read “U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Federal Marriage Law.”