Tax Day 2008: The Cost of Being Gay

Find out all the hidden costs of being gay and what you can do to save money and protect you and your loved ones.

BY Lara Schwartz

April 10 2008 12:00 AM ET

If that
weren’t bad enough, how about having to choose
between your job and caring for your family? The
Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to twelve
weeks of unpaid leave to care for a spouse or child, but
same-sex couples are excluded. 
 


The law is
designed to create incentives to do socially valuable
actions such as investing, buying a home, offering or
making use of health insurance benefits, and providing
support and security to one’s family. For
same-sex couples, these incentives are turned on their head.
It’s bad policy. And it’s behind
the times. Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies offer
domestic partner benefits. The law needs to
catch up. 
 


That’s why
HRC is promoting the Family Matters legislative agenda: the
Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, which would
provide equal benefits to same-sex partners of federal
civilian employees; the Tax Equity for Health Plan
Beneficiaries Act, which would end the tax inequities
that currently apply to employer-provided health insurance
for domestic partners; the Family and Medical Leave
Inclusion Act, and legislation currently in
development on other family protections.

 
HRC also continues to work with
the nation’s leading employers to expand
employee benefits programs, family and medical leave,
and equal retirement savings options. Over fifty major
employers from every region of the country support
eliminating the taxation of these benefits, and their
numbers are growing. 
 


Tax season is a
great time to get your financial house in order, and
minimize the cost of being gay.
Information is
available on the HRC website on what families can do
to secure the maximum protections while the law
catches up -- including medical and financial
directives, information about partnership agreements, and
more. 


This tax day,
consider the unreasonable cost that our tax code and other
laws impose upon GLBT people and their children. As long as
same-sex couples are given unequal compensation and
unequal protections for equal work and equal
commitment, we cannot truly call ourselves a land of
opportunity.

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