WATCH: Same-sex couples refuse to file taxes separately, file as married to protest DOMA

The deadline to file taxes is Tuesday, but for many gay couples the deadline isn’t the problem. Instead many couples are refusing to file separately, which they are required to do because the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage because of the Defense of Marriage Act.

A group called Refuse to Lie is telling gay couples to file together in an effort to protest the need for repealing DOMA, so they no longer have to lie about being married by filing as single.

“The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) not only denies legally married gay couples the benefits of marriage, but we are also told to disavow our spouses and file our taxes as ‘single,’” RTL states on its website. “Across the country, legally married gay couples are taking a stand. We are refusing to lie about the fact that we are married. Taking this principled stand is not without risk and each person doing so needs to carefully consider those risks before deciding if it is a stand you are willing to take.”

The Human Rights Campaign has released an issue brief on federal taxation that explains how LGBT families are denied benefits and pay significantly more in taxes.

HRC is encouraging the public to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the message using the hashtag #gaytax and to tweet to House Speaker John Boehner (@speakerboehner) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (@ericcantor) about their stories of tax inequality in an effort to get them to stop defending DOMA.

Watch a segment on the movement from MSNBC below:

—  Dallasvoice

Business Briefs: AssociaTitle names Mark Sadlek director of business development

AssociaTitle names Mark Sadlek director of business development

Mark Sadlek

AssociaTitle announced it appointed Mark J. Sadlek director of business development at its corporate headquarters in the heart of Uptown Dallas at Crescent Court.

“We are thrilled to be adding Mark Sadlek to the AssociaTitle team,” said AssociaTitle President Paul Reyes. “He is a seasoned real estate professional in the Dallas area with a track record of proven success and will serve both our clients and our company well.”

Sadlek joins AssociaTitle from Republic Title of Texas, where he served as vice president of business development and director of coaching services. He worked to build and promote the company externally with Realtors, developers and lenders. His focus also included business coaching and training.

He has also served as vice president of business development for American Title and as home mortgage consultant for Shelter Mortgage & Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Previous to his work in the North Dallas real estate industry, Sadlek worked in marketing and sales for almost 20 years and was intimately involved in the start-up of two companies, VerCeram and Velux-America.

For the past nine years, Sadlek has worked in the North Dallas real estate industry, building positive relationships with local Realtors and lenders. He was awarded the 2010 Affiliate of the Year Award from MetroTex Association of Realtors, served on the MetroTex Board as an affiliate appointee board member, and chaired the Affiliate Forum Committee of MetroTex.

He was a co-founder and co-chair of Leadership Lambda Inc., an LGBT leadership development organization. He was also a board member of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and has chaired the Heart Strings Fundraiser at the Majestic Theatre. Additionally, Sadlek served on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, as well as a co-chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Club.

Ernst & Young Announces Gross Up for Jan. 1

On Jan. 1, Ernst & Young joined more than 30 major U.S. employers that are equalizing the pay for gay and lesbian employees by covering the cost of state and federal taxes for domestic partners.

Employees enrolled in domestic partner benefits incur additional taxes as the value of those benefits is treated as taxable income under federal law, while the value of opposite-sex spousal benefits is not.

Federal law treats domestic partner benefits differently from federally-recognized spousal benefits.

—  David Taffet

Kindred Spirits presents: The Judy Garland Christmas Show

Judy Garland Christmas ShowThere’s kitsch. There’s camp. Then there’s the Judy Garland Christmas Show, perhaps the single most absurdly divine thing to ever be produced by the 1960′s television industry. Kindred Spirits presents its 4th Annual Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along December 4th at Meteor (2306 Genesee St) at 5 pm.

In 1963 Garland found herself in trouble with the IRS for forgetting to pay taxes for a couple of years. Desperate for cash, she agreed to star in a weekly variety show for CBS, then proceeded to record 26 of the most gin-soaked hours in television history. Garland was remarkably cogent for the Christmas episode however, perhaps because her children were all on set as guest stars. Lorna Luft, Joey Luft and (almost unrecognizable with long hair) Liza Minnelli join fellow guests Jack Jones, Tracy Everitt, Mel Tormé and the true stars of the show, the chorus line of dancing Santas, for an hour of surreal delight.

With Nancy Ford emceeing, the Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along has become a Houston holiday tradition. In addition to the show and complimentary eats there’s also a raffle for a flat screen television. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and can be purchased at kindredspiritshouston.org. Proceeds benefit AssistHers, the Lesbian Health Initiative Houston, and Expert Nutrition.

After the break watch the opening number from the Judy Garland Christmas Show.

—  admin

Texas: A not-so-great state

As Perry eyes the presidency and Dewhurst makes a bid for the Senate, let’s look at the story the numbers really tell

Phyllis Guest | Taking NoteGuest.Phyllis.2

It seems that while David Dewhurst is running for the U.S. Senate, Rick Perry — otherwise known as Gov. Goodhair — is planning to run for president. I wonder what numbers they will use to show how well they have run Texas.

Could they cite $16 million? That’s the sum Perry distributed from our state’s Emerging Technology Fund to his campaign contributors.

Or maybe it is $4.1 billion. That’s the best estimate of the fees and taxes our state collects for dedicated purposes — but diverts to other uses.

Then again, it could be $28 billion. That’s the last published number for the state’s budget deficit, although Perry denied any deficit during his last campaign.

But let’s not get bogged down with dollar amounts. Let’s consider some of the state’s other numbers.

There’s the fact that Texas ranks worst in at least three key measures:

We are the most illiterate, with more than 10 percent of our state’s population unable to read a word. LIFT — Literacy Instruction for Texas — recently reported that half of Dallas residents cannot read a newspaper.

We also have the lowest percentage of persons covered by health insurance and the highest number of teenage repeat pregnancies.

Not to mention that 12,000 children have spent at least three years in the state welfare system, waiting for a foster parent. That’s the number reported in the Texas-loving Dallas Morning News.

Meanwhile, the Legislature has agreed to put several amendments to the Texas Constitution before the voters. HJR 63, HJR 109 plus SJR 4, SJR 16, and SJR 50 all appear to either authorize the shifting of discretionary funds or the issuance of bonds to cover expenses.

Duh. As if we did not know that bonds represent debt, and that we will be paying interest on those bonds long after Dewhurst and Perry leave office.

Further, this spring, the Lege decided that all voters — except, I believe, the elderly — must show proof of citizenship to obtain a state ID or to get or renew a driver’s license. As they did not provide any funds for the issuance of those ID cards or for updating computer systems to accommodate the new requirement, it seems those IDs will be far from free.

Also far from free is Perry’s travel. The Lege decided that the governor does not have to report what he and his entourage spend on travel, which is convenient for him because we taxpayers foot the bill for his security — even when he is making obviously political trips. Or taking along his wife and his golf clubs.

And surely neither Rick Perry nor David Dewhurst will mention the fact that a big portion of our state’s money comes from the federal government. One report I saw stated that our state received $17 billion in stimulus money, although the gov and his lieutenant berated the Democratic president for providing the stimulus.

And the gov turned down $6 billion in education funds, then accepted the funds but did not use them to educate Texans.

The whole thing — Dewhurst’s campaign and Perry’s possible campaign, the 2012-2013 budget, the recent biannual session of the Texas Legislature — seems like something Mark Twain might have written at his tongue-in-cheek best.

We have huge problems in public school education, higher education, health care, air pollution and water resources, to mention just a few of our more notable failures.

Yet our elected officials are defunding public education and thus punishing children, parents, and teachers. They are limiting women’s health care so drastically that our own Parkland Hospital will be unable to provide appropriate care to 30,000 women.

They are seeking a Medicaid “pilot program” that will pave the way for privatized medical services, which will erode health care for all but the wealthiest among us. They are fighting tooth and nail to keep the EPA from dealing with our polluted environment. They are doing absolutely nothing to ensure that Texas continues to have plenty of safe drinking water.

They are most certainly not creating good jobs.

So David Dewhurst and his wife Tricia prayed together and apparently learned that he should run for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat. Now Rick Perry is planning a huge prayer rally Saturday, Aug. 6, at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

God help us.

Phyllis Guest is a longtime activist on political and LGBT issues and a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Tax Day Demonstration at Main Post Office

Keeping the peace

Pro-Equality activists get together tonight at the Main Post Office for a peaceful demonstration to remind the city at large that  LGBTs pay the same taxes as everyone else but they just don’t get all of the rights. Sounds wortwhile and if you haven’t filed, well, finish that up and head down to the post office tonight to drop off and then demonstrate. You’re even encouraged to take sings and banners. Not only will you be performing a civic duty, you can also be creative.

DEETS: Main Post Office, 401 DFW Turnpike (I-30 at Sylvan). 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

—  Rich Lopez

Crazy Eyes At CPAC: Americans Are Paying 75% Of Their Income For Taxes

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

NOM is reportedly late with its federal taxes

From Fred Karger:

The four year old National Organization for Marriage (NOM), and the National Organization for Marriage Foundation (NOMF) has once again failed to file its required Federal Income Tax Returns. Their IRS 2009 returns for both of these non-profits, their 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 were due on May 15, 2010. If they received an extension, then they were due October 15, 2010. Now they are 2 ½ months LATE!

I recently visited their new National Office in Washington, DC twice during regular office hours to view the returns. No one was there. They must make them available to anyone during regular business hours. We also have checked online repeatedly for their 2009 returns, and again, nothing. What is NOM trying to hide? Why do they not file their tax returns every year?

Déjà Vu


I went through the identical exercise in 2009 when I attempted to view NOM’s 2007 and 2008 990’s, but they never filed those either. We visited their then National Office in Princeton, NJ many times and no one was ever there either.

One set of 990’s was 5 months late. The other set was 17 months late, when finally, the night before NOM President Brian Brown was to testify in front of the Maine Ethics Commission last year, all of their delinquent tax returns magically appeared on the NOM web site.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

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