A petition with more than 1,300 signatures was delivered to the Georgia Department of Revenue on Tuesday calling for the state to change the way it requires same-sex couples to file their state tax returns.
The federal government now recognizes same-sex marriages, but the state of Georgia does not. That means same-sex couples can file their federal returns as "married" but must file their state taxes as "single."
"It really is outrageous that loving couples who have made the commitment to marry each other are being forced, by our own state, to lie on our tax forms," said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality.
Graham said it also creates more work for the tax preparer and can even cost more money.
"My accountant had to file my joint return, and then she had to complete a federal ‘dummy' return just so she could use the number to carry over to the state form," explained Ann Pinyan from Sandy Springs. Pinyan and her wife Dara married in California in 2008.
"How can I be married in the nation, but not in a state that's in the nation?" asked Pinyan. "Don't quite get that."
Georgia voters passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004. According to 2010 census information, there are an estimated 22,000 same-sex couples in Georgia.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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