Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) spoke out against the unfair tax laws that persist for gay and lesbian couples this tax day as a consequence of marriage inequality and the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
"Each tax day millions of LGBT couples, even those legally married, are reminded of their status as second-class citizens with separate and wholly unequal rights under the law," said Rep. Quigley. "It's time to put an end to DOMA and the discrimination it promotes, which is an affront to our country's values of equality and fairness for all."
Passed in 1996, DOMA is a United States federal law defining marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman. It prevents federal recognition of same-sex marriages, even in states that have enacted marriage equality.
Because their unions are not recognized by the federal government, LGBT families in six states and the District of Columbia are forced to spend more time and money filing their taxes and are denied access to a wide range of federal benefits. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, today released an issue brief on Federal Taxation, illustrating these practices, which is available here.
A member of the Congressional Equality Caucus, Rep. Quigley has made LGBT equality one of his top legislative priorities. Last year he hosted a DOMA field forum to investigate the impacts of the Defense of Marriage Act on individuals and families in Chicago and is a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would ensure that all couples are treated fairly under federal law. Rep. Quigley is a co-sponsor of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which would provide benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees. As Cook County Commissioner, he passed the Domestic Partnership Benefits Ordinance, providing full benefits for domestic partners of county employees.