Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Missouri Will Allow Married Gay Couples to File Joint Tax Returns! // Updated on 11/20/13: Missouri Lawmaker to Lead Impeachment Charge Against Gov. Nixon!

(Gov. Jay Nixon)
(Originally written on 11/14/13): Missouri has officially been a marriage inequality state since 2004, when it passed an amendment to its state constitution to ban same-sex marriages. Over the years, a series of gay and lesbian couples from Missouri have regularly traveled up to Iowa City to get legally married and then turn around and head back to a state that doesn't recognize its marriages (I wrote about it here and here, as well as this time when they came to my own church!). In fact, the Marriage Equality Bus was just in Iowa City again a few weeks ago!

Earlier today, Governor Jay Nixon (D) officially came out in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in Missouri and issued an executive order allowing the state limited recognition of legal gay marriages from other states (such as Iowa) where they are legal -- at least for joint tax purposes:
In an executive order, Nixon directed the Department of Revenue to accept the combined returns as a reaction to the June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law barred same sex couples who were legally married from receiving any marriage-based federal benefits, such as tax exemptions and Social Security payments.

Under state law, couples who file a joint federal return are required to file a combined state tax return. The executive order clarifies that the law applies to all couples, Nixon said.

The executive order does not alter state restrictions on same-sex marriages, Nixon said. Those marriages are banned under the Missouri Constitution. “This is not about the definition of marriage, this is about the structure of our tax code and Missouri law, which is clear,” Nixon said.
Of course, joint tax returns can be a mixed blessing! But congratulations on this small win, Missouri!

Updated on 11/20/13: Representative Nick Marshall (R) of Parkville, MO, has announced plans to seeks articles of impeachment against Gov. Jay Nixon. Last week, Gov. Nixon issued an executive order allowing married same-sex couples to file joint tax returns.

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