IRS Adjusts Filing Rules for Same-Sex Marriages

Congressional reaction to the IRS decision was relatively tame given that it came during the August recess and simply complies with a Supreme Court decision. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a supporter, responded that the decision advances “both equality under the law and uniformity in our tax code.” He added that the new rule “brings greatly needed guidance and clarity to same-sex couples and their families.”

“Legally married same-sex couples should be able to move throughout the country without a change in their federal filing status,” he said.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said under the IRS decision “committed and loving gay and lesbian married couples will now be treated equally under our nation’s federal tax laws, regardless of the state they call home.”

“These families finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act,” he said.

Support wasn’t universal. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, denounced the part of the IRS decision to recognize the same-sex marriage of those who live in states that prohibit the practice.

“The Treasury Department is grossly overstepping its authority,” Brown said. “This is a nation of laws. Only Congress has the authority to change the law.”

Brown said the IRS action represents the continuation of a pattern of lawlessness “where administrators and clerks have taken it upon themselves to interpret and re-write laws as they pertain to marriage.”

"The Obama administration is intent on forcing same-sex 'marriage' on an unwilling public,"’ Brown said. "Congress alone has the responsibility of determining federal tax law."