Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, plans to introduce legislation in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage to change the Tax Code to provide gender-neutral treatment for spouses.
In a 5-4 ruling Friday in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that the 14th amendment requires all states to license a marriage between two persons of the same sex, and to recognize same-sex marriages made out of state (see Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage).
In a statement released Friday after the ruling, Wyden said, “As lawmakers, we must now turn our attention to ensuring that LGBTQ Americans enjoy the dignity and equal treatment under the law the Court has proclaimed in every other aspect of their lives—employment, housing, health care and beyond. To that end, I will soon be introducing legislation to recognize and protect that dignity in our nation’s tax laws as one step further toward full equality for all Americans.”
Wyden plans to introduce a bill called the Marriage Equality for All Taxpayers Act that would eliminate gender-specific references from the tax code, according to The New York Times. He sent a letter Friday to other senators looking for co-sponsors for the legislation.
“It is high-time that Congress addresses the glaring fact that the tax code is replete with out-of-date references to marriage that no longer reflect the institution of legal marriage,” he wrote. “Such outmoded language arguably disparages those married couples who the Supreme Court has sought to protect and dignify by recognizing their constitutional right to marriage.”
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