Last-minute tax filers encountered two opposing groups while driving toward the Main Dallas Post Office on Monday: about a dozen queer activists protesting anti-gay tax laws, and an equal number of Kingdom Baptist Church members protesting the queer protesters.
The gay group’s hand-painted posterboards read, “Equal Taxes, Equal Rights,” “Love Knows No Gender,” and “With Liberty and Justice For ALL.”
Kingdom Baptist’s professionally printed signs read, “REPENT ABORTION AND MURDER,” “TURN OR BURN” and “GAY IS NOT OK.” Over bullhorns the church members yelled ceaselessly about sin and sodomy while the gay folks occasionally shouted back about a loving God and the separation of church and state.
As it currently stands, federal law makes it illegal to lie on tax forms. But the Defense of Marriage Act requires legally married same-sex couples to file as two separate single individuals, which is, well, a lie. A recent campaign called “Refuse to Lie” urged wedded gays to file as married couples. Married gay couples pay higher taxes for filing separately and risk a potential IRS audit if they try to file as a married couple.
According to protest organizer Daniel Cates, “Today in America [marriage] brings with it 1,138 rights on a state and federal level. That’s what we’re after. We’re not asking [for people] to change what they believe religiously or to even to endorse our marriages in their churches. But we are asking for equality under the law.” The gay protesters want to reform the tax law through a DOMA repeal and full LGBT equality nationwide.