June 26,2023

Wyden, Collins to Introduce Bill Bringing Marriage Equality to the Tax Code

Proposed Legislation Would Eliminate Gender-Specific Spousal References in the Tax Code, Protect LGBTQ+ Americans from Discrimination

Washington, D.C. – Today, on the ten-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced the reintroduction of bipartisan legislation providing equal dignity in the tax code for all legal marriages. The Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act, which is cosponsored by 43 other members of the Senate, protects LGBTQ+ Americans by removing gender-specific references to marriage in the tax code.

“Marriage equality is the law of the land, but the tax code still reflects the discrimination of yesteryear. It’s long past time for that to change,” Senator Wyden said. “Recent history has proven that the Supreme Court is perfectly willing to uproot legal precedent and defy the will of large majorities of the American people in ways that roll back key individual rights. The Congress cannot take issues like marriage equality for granted. We have a responsibility to protect all aspects of marriage equality, including the economic benefits, in black letter law.”

“This bipartisan legislation takes an important step towards modernizing our tax code to reflect the equal rights and dignity that all married couples enjoy under the law, including the Respect for Marriage Act that I co-authored last year,” said Senator Collins. “This bill is another important step to promote equality and prevent discrimination.”

In the Windsor ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the section of the Defense of Marriage Act that defined “marriage” as a legal union between one man and one woman. Two years later the court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage by striking down state-level bans on such marriages. In 2016, the Treasury Department reflected this decision by finalizing rules allowing federal joint filing for same-sex couples. Senator Wyden’s bill, which will be reintroduced when the Senate is next in session, adds to these efforts by ensuring our nation’s tax laws offer equal treatment to all married taxpayers. Representative Becca Balint (D-Vt.) is introducing a companion bill in the House.

The bill text is available here.


Press Contact: Ryan Carey