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Tax Season Reminds Gay Couples That They Lack Rights

Married same-sex couples in Massachusetts live in a state that recognizes their unions. But in the eyes of the US government, they're still bachelors, or bachelorettes.

Mary Ritchie and her spouse Kathleen Bush have been legally married for five years. They have two children and Mary is a state police trooper. But there's one thing that makes this typical family different: when they file tax returns this year, they cannot check "married filing jointly." Mary and Kathleen say this detail has cost them almost $15,000 in taxes.

Now Mary and Kathleen are joining a dozen other couples to sue the federal government, challenging part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The part in question prevents the federal government from awarding Social Security and other benefits to same-sex couples, regardless of their marriage status in home states.

The couples aren't just arguing fairness. They say DOMA violates the state's right to regulate marriage.

Do you think they should win?


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