Earlier this week, in compliance with the law, millions of Arizonans filed their federal and state tax returns. However, for many Arizonans, this year’s filing presented an unprecedented challenge. While the federal government allows legally married same-sex couples to file jointly, Arizona does not.
By refusing to recognize legally married couples, the state of Arizona – under Governor Brewer’s leadership – forces a harmful and unnecessary burden on loving couples across the state who are seen as legal strangers where they live. In response to this injustice, Why Marriage Matters Arizona circulated a petition, respectfully asking the Governor to use her position of leadership to allow same-sex couples to file jointly here in Arizona.
Well over 1,000 Arizonans have signed the petition, showing the Governor that Arizonans believe in respect for all families.
Today, Tonya and Melanie Puskar-Blakeley— a Glendale couple who legally married since 2008— delivered the petition signatures to Governor Brewer’s office.
The couple spoke out earlier this week in an op-ed for the Advocate, detailing the discrimination they face at tax time as a legally married same-sex couple in a state that does not respect their marriage :
As soon as we e-filed our joint federal form, it was time for of each of us to begin again from scratch. We each had to fill out our own 1040 as if we were strangers, as if we don’t share our home in Glendale, Ariz., as if we don’t have four children together.
The act of divorcing our lives on paper, each checking the “single” box, so that we can satisfy Arizona’s discriminatory tax system makes liars out of us and is depressing, to say the least.
Why Marriage Matters Arizona—along with thousands of supporters across the state—understand that all Arizona families deserve respect. By not allowing same-sex couples who are legally married to file state taxes together, tens of thousands of gay and lesbian Arizonans are faced with obstacles that their straight counterparts just don’t have to deal with. We urge the Governor to rethink this policy, and hope that when Tax Day roles around in 2015, our state will treat same-sex couples with the dignity they deserve.