Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to make the tax code gender neutral in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last month extending same-sex marriages to every state.

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore. along with the full Senate Democratic Caucus unveiled the legislation Thursday providing equal dignity for all legal marriages, including same-sex couples, in the Tax Code.  The bill, known as the “Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act,” would set a new precedent by removing gender-specific references to marriage, enshrining dignity and recognition for LGBTQ Americans in the tax code. 

“It’s about time that we update our tax law to reflect the institution of legal marriage,” Wyden said in a statement.  “All married Americans deserve the same respect and dignity in the eyes of the law.”

This bill follows the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection, striking down state-level bans on such marriages. Wyden announced his intention to introduce the legislation only a few days after the ruling was handed down (see Senator Plans Revamp of Tax Code in Wake of Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision). The bill aims to ensure that the nation’s tax law reflects the landmark civil rights decision, offering equal treatment to all married taxpayers. 

Under the bill, references in the tax code to “himself” would be replaced by “self,” “husband and wife who live” would be replaced by “married couple who lives,” “the taxpayer and his spouse” would be replaced by “the taxpayer and the spouse of the taxpayer,” “husband or wife who files” would be replaced by “married individual who files,” etc.

Co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chris Coons, D-Del., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., Al Franken, D-Minn., Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Tim Kaine, D-Va., Angus King, I-Maine, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Harry Reid, D-Nev., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Mark Warner, D-Va., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access