It’s tax season.
At this time of the year we are reminded that regardless of how many years you’ve been together and whether you are raising children; disregarding the vows you made in front of God, your friends, and your church; ignoring the interdependency that you have on each other and the social contributions you have made in settling each other; and rejecting the way that you care for your in-laws and help in the cohesiveness of the greater family; when it comes to marriage the only thing the Federal government cares about is your sexual orientation.
Cuz marriage is all about sanctity, you know, and gays ain’t sanctity-fied.
We all have heard of the 1,000-plus rights and obligations denied to gay couples by marriage inequality. But what does it cost your pocketbook?
Naturally, the answer depends on a multitude of factors, but here’s a simple illustration using two fictional couples, both of whom live in California:
George and Dick each make $60,000 and have no children. For our example, we’ll assume no other income or deductions.
Cumulatively George and Dick will pay about $25,552 in federal and state income taxes (not counting social security and medicare). Were they allowed to marry and file jointly, their total tax burden would be about the same (an increase of about $17).
Laura is the primary wage earner and makes $100,000. Lynn raises the two children (each Mom is one birth-parent) and works part-time making $20,000. For our example, we’ll assume that there is no other income or deductions.
Cumulatively Laura and Lynn will pay about $25,392 in federal and state income taxes. Were they allowed to marry and file jointly, their total tax burden would decrease to about $21,911, a tax savings of $3,481.
Our illustration shows that not only does marriage inequality punish gay couples, its burden is felt most by those who are raising children and functioning most as a partnership with roles and responsibilities.
Naturally, your circumstances may be different. You may even find that by filing jointly you would pay more taxes. But without artificial barriers, you could decide whether the benefits outweigh the costs – just as your heterosexual siblings can. Your government says that you don’t deserve that choice.
There is a cost for living in a modern vibrant society that seeks to care for its citizens. But that cost should not be based on sexual orientation.