Washington, D.C. —
Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley has said tax day is a reminder of the discrimination gay and lesbian couples face as a consequence of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
DOMA is the 1996 law that bars federal agencies, including the IRS, from recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples.
"Each tax day millions of LGBT couples, even those legally married, are reminded of their status as second-class citizens with separate and wholly unequal rights under the law," Quigley said in a prepared statement. "It's time to put an end to DOMA and the discrimination it promotes, which is an affront to our country's values of equality and fairness for all."
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), there are 179 federal tax provisions that take into account marital status. Married gay couples cannot file their federal income taxes jointly, are taxed on their transfers of property, gifts and inheritances, and are taxed on the health insurance benefits of a spouse.
A brief on the subject issued by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, can be found here
.Related: TheHomoPolitico on the inequity for LGBT couples during tax season