DOMA ruled unconstitutional by bankruptcy court

A federal bankruptcy court in California on Monday ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles ruled that it is discriminatory to prevent a legally married same-sex couple from filing for joint bankruptcy.

The couple, Gene Balas and Carlos Morales, filed a joint chapter 13 petition. They were married in 2008 in California and remain legally married.

In his ruling, the judge wrote: “This case is about equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, for two people who filed for protection under Title 11 of the United States Code (Bankruptcy Code).”

It is “undisputed that the Debtors are a lawfully married California couple,” the judge wrote, adding that the couple came to the court to restructure and repay their debt following extended illnesses and long periods of unemployment.

The U.S. trustee for the case filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that two men cannot file jointly for bankruptcy. The judge ruled the trustee did not ask for dismissal based on one of the 11 causes listed in bankruptcy law to dismiss, but simply because the couple are two men.

The judge said the trustee filed no relevant case law supporting his position and said the couple should not be singled out for discriminatory treatment. He cited the Obama administration’s position that DOMA is unconstitutional and ruled that, indeed it is.

—  David Taffet

Gays in Brazil can file taxes jointly

We’re number one!

From O Globo in Brazil:

Casais homossexuais poderão declarar o companheiro ou companheira como dependente do Imposto de Renda (IR), desde que cumpram os mesmos requisitos estabelecidos pela lei para os heterossexuais com união estável, como vida em comum por cinco anos. A Receita Federal poderá notificar o contribuinte para verificar a informação.

I speak Spanish, and studied a bit of Portuguese, so I’ll give you a good, but less than perfect, translation. Actually, I just went to Google Translate, and it did a shockingly good job. So here’s its translation, with my tweeks:

Gay couples can declare their partner as a dependent on their income tax (IR), provided they meet the same requirements established by law for heterosexuals (such as living together for five years). The IRS may notify the taxpayer to verify the information.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright