February 14,2019

Press Contact:

Ryan Carey (202) 224-4515 

Senate Democrats Call for Tax Code to Recognize Marriage Equality

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

Washington, D.C. – This Valentine’s Day, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced legislation providing equal dignity in the tax code for all legal marriages. The Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act, which is cosponsored by every member of the Senate Democratic caucus, protects LGBTQ+ Americans from inequality and discrimination 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 a bygone era. It’s past time for that to change,” Senator Wyden said. “There’s a real danger that old, gender-specific tax laws could pose problems for married same-sex couples, and it’s a shame Republicans never got around to rooting out this discrimination when they crafted their partisan tax overhaul that showered cash over the wealthy and corporations.”

On June 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme 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, first introduced in 2015 and reintroduced in 2017, adds to these efforts by ensuring our nation’s tax laws offer equal treatment to all married taxpayers. Congressman Andy Levin, D-M.I., is introducing a companion to the bill in the House of Representatives.

The legislation is endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign. Legislative text can be found here.