Melanie Puskar-Blakely: As if we were strangers

TaxesCoupleFBMelanie Puskar-Blakely of Glendale, AZ explains how the State of Arizona’s refusal to recognize legally married same-sex couples impacts her family:

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA last year, my wife Tonya and I were elated when, for the first time since we married in 2008, we filed our federal taxes jointly—as a legally married couple.

I never thought I’d say this: but submitting our federal taxes strangely felt like a moment of celebration.

But our moment of appreciation was short lived. As soon as we e-filed our joint federal form, it was time for each of us to begin again from scratch. We filled out our state taxes for Arizona as if we were strangers, as if we don’t share our home in Glendale, as if we don’t have four children together.

Join me, Tonya and thousands of Arizonans who are calling on Governor Jan Brewer to allow same-sex couples to jointly file their tax returns. Click here to sign the petition now.

Tonya and I are committed to each other and to our children, we’ll never stop loving each other—and our family—above all else.

But because the state of Arizona ignores our marriage, we not only face an unnecessary financial burden, but each spring, Tonya and I are cruelly reminded yet again that we are not seen as equals in the state our family calls home.

We’re just fighting for the same protections and respect that all married couples deserve.

Will you sign the petition calling on Governor Jan Brewer to respect legally married same-sex couples like us by allowing us to file joint tax returns?

I look forward to what I hope is a not-too-distant future when all Arizonans dread Tax Day simply because it’s Tax Day, not because it reminds some of us that we’re not treated equally by our tax-supported government.