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U.S. Internal Revenue Service Recognizes Gay Marriage

The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS have declared that all same-sex couples who are legally married will be recognized as such for federal tax purposes, even if the state where they live does not recognize their union. The ruling also applies to same-sex marriages legalized in foreign countries.

The broad change is a result of the Supreme Court decision that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which found that same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.  The U.S. government is quickly moving to establish normalization of same-sex marriages. As expected, gay and civil rights groups praised the ruling.

The ruling however, creates some tax complications in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. States usually base their income tax laws based on the federal returns. But if a marriage is recognized by the federal government but not the state, the state will have to change its method of calculating tax or require the same-sex couple to file separately. The discrepancy in the tax laws will certainly prompt more litigation to try to force states to recognize same-sex marriages at least in their tax laws. This will increase pressure on both the courts, and the legislatures for these states to overthrow or amend their constitutions and other laws to accommodate or even recognize same-sex marriage. The ruling doesn’t apply to civil partnerships.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that Medicare would extend certain key benefits to same-sex spouses. And the Veterans Administration was hit with a federal court ruling that it must provide the same benefits to legally married same-sex couples as for heterosexual couples.

“The Obama administration has pushed federal agencies to ensure the Supreme Court’s ruling is carried out quickly and smoothly.”

“Likewise, also as it was in the days of Lot.” Luke 17:28

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