Exactly one month ago, the Supreme Court declared Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
Quickly, within hours, the impact was felt in several areas including immigration equality, federal benefits, and state and federal taxation for residents in Marriage Equality states.
First same-sex married couple to be approved for permanent resident visa
Benefits are granted to LGBT Federal Employees
Ohio recognizes a marriage from Maryland for a terminally ill man and his husband
PA AG won't defend state's marriage equality ban
PA issues first same-sex marriage license
And the IRS? One month later... Crickets
Exactly one month ago, I asked my boyfriend / partner / roommate to get married.
He said, "Meh... Ouch! You're hurting me!! Stop!!!"
(The doctor said that the bruises from twisting his arm will go away eventually.)
And yet, despite my excitement and his ambivalence, the wedding plans remain on hold.
I don't know what to do.
Do we go to California and have an amazing Napa Valley wedding?
Do we go to Washington? Delaware? Massachusetts?
Do we go to Canada? France? Mexico? Brazil?
Do we go to Minnesota in September and take a risk that we'll get snowed in?
Do we go to Iowa and... Wait... IOWA?
Should we go to Iowa and declare a common law marriage?
We live in Texas (sympathy cards not required) and Texas recognizes common law. So do Iowa, seven other states, and DC... only Iowa and DC recognize same-sex marriage. Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Montana, Texas and Utah don't.
IowaThere is no residency requirement for marriage in either Iowa or DC.
The three elements of a common-law marriage are: (1) the present intent and agreement to be married; (2) continuous cohabitation; and (3) public declaration that the parties are married. Martin, 681 N.W.2d at 617. The public declaration or holding out to the public is considered to be the acid test of a common-law marriage.
The IRS has a practice of using a Place of Domicile Rule for marriages, except Common Law marriages. The IRS recognizes common law marriages based on the state where the Common Law marriage was first declared or formalized. If you are from Iowa, your common law marriage will still be recognized by the IRS for federal tax purposes regardless of where you currently live... if you're straight.
Note: Social Security Administration is another story. SSA only accepts common law marriage based on your current residence.
If we choose to be married via common law in Iowa or DC and live in Texas, the IRS should recognize that we're married. A fall wedding in Des Moines? Not my dream vision of the special day, but we can't afford to be single anymore.
I want the federal tax benefits that have previously been given to only straight families.
"Teh Gay" tax has got to end in our household. Last year, changing our tax returns from 2 singles to 1 married family would have saved our household $7,000. Seriously.. $7,000 is a lot of money... Just that one thing... $7,000... to be gay... seriously?
The IRS has been silent for a month.
From the IRS website:
IRS Statement on the Supreme Court Decision on the Defense of Marriage ActDear IRS - Make a friggin decision.
We are reviewing the important June 26 Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act. We will be working with the Department of Treasury and Department of Justice, and we will move swiftly to provide revised guidance in the near future.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 27-Jun-2013
I need time to plan my fabulous wedding.
I need time to complete my gift registry (no toasters please).
I need time to find the venue in the right state or country or...
I need time to book a 2 hour layover in Souix City.
I've been paying $7,000 a year to be queer in the US.
I'm done. Finito. The End. T-t-t-that's all folks...
Dear IRS - Get off the pot!
Decide so I can get my finances in order.
Decide so we can get on with our lives.