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|LGBT activists protest inequality on tax day|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|April 18, 2011 11:21|
Rallies, demonstrations and other events planned across the country
As you undoubtedly know, today is tax day. For some procrastinators, this is one of the most dreaded days of the year.
For married LGBT taxpayers, filing taxes is just another reminder of the inequality same-sex couples face every other day of the year. Because the Defense of Marriage Act requires the federal government to recognize a marriage as "one man and one woman," same-sex couples must file their federal taxes separately, despite the fact that they may be legally married in their home state.
Demonstrators from national LGBT advocacy organization GetEqual, like the ones pictured above in Washington D.C., are taking to the streets to highlight the lack of rights afforded to LGBT couples versus their straight counterparts. According to GetEqual, similar demonstrations are taking place all across the country today.
Heather Cronk, GetEqual's managing director, says that some 14 demonstrations were planned, including a flash mob in Albuquerque late last week.
The New York Times recently reported that some same-sex married couples were refusing to file their taxes separately in protest of DOMA. There's even a website, www.refusetolie.org, dedicated to providing information to same-sex couples who wish to file jointly.
"Across the country, legally married gay couples are taking a stand," the website reads. "We are refusing to lie about the fact that we are married. Taking this principled stand is not without risk and each person doing so needs to carefully consider those risks before deciding if it is a stand you are willing to take."
Of course, those who indicate their same-sex marriage status on a federal tax return risk penalty from the Internal Revenue Service. There are ways around the penalty, while still claiming your married status, according to RefuseToLie.org.
A similar demonstration was held last last year during the U.S. Census when activists called for LGBT couples to "Queer the Census" by indicating they were married on the official form.
Top photo: Demonstrators in Washington D.C. protest inequality on tax day (via Facebook)
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