WASHINGTON (BP)–Same-sex couples will not be able to file joint tax returns in Washington, D.C., after all, the city’s top tax official said May 3.
Following days of controversy Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi ruled that couples can file jointly in the city only if they also can file joint federal returns, The Washington Post reported. Federal law does not recognize “gay marriage” and bans same-sex couples from jointly filing.
The dispute started when a male couple “married” in Massachusetts asked if they could file a joint tax return. The D.C. attorney general then furthered the controversy by ruling that same-sex couples with a marriage license could file joint tax returns — but that D.C.’s Office of Tax and Revenue reserved the authority to reject the filings.
Gandhi’s ruling ends any chance — at least in the immediate future — of a joint tax return going through. The ruling also may have squashed a showdown between D.C. and Congress.
Washington, D.C., is more liberal than the rest of the country and has a large homosexual population. But Congress — which is conservative — has considerable control over the city. The D.C. budget requires annual approval by Congress. In addition, Congress has the power to overturn laws passed by the D.C. city council.
Washington has no law specifically banning “gay marriage.”
When the D.C. attorney general issued his pro-“gay marriage” ruling in April, Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas and a social conservative, gave a warning.
“I was hopeful we weren’t going to be confronting this issue. But it appears there will need to be a review and a discussion,” he said at the time, according to The Post.
“I have been and continue to be a strong believer and protector of traditional marriage. I think it’s an important issue for society and for the country. This issue has now been moving across the country for several years, and I guess we will deal with something in D.C. now.”
KERRY CRITICIZES ‘GAY MARRIAGE’ — Former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry is criticizing his home state’s party for embracing “gay marriage” in its platform. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is expected soon to approve an addition to the platform supporting “gay marriage.”
“I’m opposed to it being in a platform. I think it’s a mistake,” Kerry, a Democratic senator, told The Boston Globe. “I think it’s the wrong thing, and I’m not sure it reflects the broad view of the Democratic Party in our state.”
Kerry supports Vermont-style civil unions and opposes a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
NAVAJO PRESIDENT VETOES BAN — Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. vetoed a bill May 1 banning “gay marriage,” even though it had passed the Navajo tribal council by a vote of 63-0. The Navajo Nation is the largest American Indian reservation.
“Same-sex marriage is a non-issue on Navajoland,” Shirley was quoted as saying in the Gallup (N.M.) Independent. “So why waste time and resources on it? We have more important issues to address.”
Supporters said the ban promoted family values. The council has until July 22 to override Shirley’s veto, the newspaper reported.
COLO. AMENDMENT DIES — A constitutional marriage amendment in Colorado died May 3 when the House judiciary committee defeated it on a 6-5 vote, the Associated Press reported. It was a party line vote, with Democrats voting against it. The amendment protected the traditional definition of marriage by banning both “gay marriage” and civil unions.
“I’m not asking you to make the decision, I’m simply asking that we put this before the people of Colorado,” Rep. Kevin Lundberg, a Republican and amendment supporter, told the committee, according to AP.
The Colorado vote is a rare loss for amendment supporters nationwide. Eighteen states have adopted marriage amendments, and four more will vote on them next year. Others likely will follow. A marriage amendment has never failed at the ballot box. The 18 amendments that have passed have done so by an average margin of 70-30-percent margin.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage