New Campaign Takes Aim at DOMA Through Tax Protest

Are you a married same-sex couple angry about having to file your tax return separate from your partner, and at the same time be dishonest about your marital status? 

Refusetolie Though there are certain risks, you may wish to take part in the "Refuse to Lie" campaign:

The federal government's refusal to recognize our marriages is blatant discrimination and we will not play along by lying on our tax returns and pretending we are single. The government has chosen to discriminate and we choose to expose their bigotry by refusing to lie.

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.

While tax time forces legally married gay couples to decide whether to comply or resist the government's requirement that we lie, it is not the only circumstance where we face this dilemma. We are married and our commitment is to tell the truth every time we are asked to fill out a form or respond to a question about our marital status.

The campaign lists various tips for those planning to file as married:

One option is to put an asterisk by the single box and at the bottom of the form indicate that you are only single under DOMA. Another option is to include an attachment to your return, similar to the following:


The NYT reports:

Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate who acts as an ombudsman for the I.R.S., acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding federal taxation of same-gender spouses in an annual report to Congress. In the report, she said that taxpayers may take a filing position without penalty if there is “substantial authority” to do so, such as a court case that hasn’t been overruled by the United States Court of Appeals. And there happen to be two such cases, which are currently on appeal.

Much more on this at the NYT. I'd consider reading the entire piece as well as the 'Refuse to Lie' site if you're considering this.


  1. spiderseye says

    I checked the married box when I lived in NY in 2002. Nothing ever happened. NY even had a revision to my return and nothing ever came up about marital status. There’s actually no place on the return to declare your sex, if I remember. I would have paid thousands more due to the inequity in our earnings at the time.

  2. Homo Genius says

    I like the theory… Just file as married. But honestly, adding asterisks and what not….??? Like some wage slave temp is gonna care about your DOMA protest as they process their 2000th form of the day. Just isnt getting the message to the right people IMO.

  3. says

    Federal goverment is asking all domestic partners or legally married couples to file as married and yet seperate it is really confusing. we have to split our income and assets and then pay seprately accordingly. In California we have to file jointly as well. So technically does this mean the federal goverment is recognizing my marriage?

  4. mcNnyc says

    Hell we can’t even file as married in NY State even though NY State “recognizes” all legal marriages including same sex….BUT you still can’t file as married for taxes..WHY?
    Because NY law stipulates that you must file State exactly as you do Federal.

    Thank you NY State for meaningless legislation.

  5. TheMultiplex says

    I’m sure the computers that scan all the forms in will be really impressed.

    Taking a risk and filing as married anyway says something.

    Putting an asterisk and/or a silly attachment accomplishes nothing. No one will see or care.