Money, Honey

Tax Protests Planned on April 15. Will Melissa Etheridge File?


Wednesday isn’t just the last day to file your taxes. It’s also the day there will be a nationwide showdown between gay men and women demanding equal treatment under the tax code — and the government.

Even though four states have (or are about to have) legal same-sex marriage, the federal government still requires you lie to them and say you’re “single, unmarried.” (Technically, the Defense of Marriage Act makes your lie legal, since the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex unions.)

The financial repercussions of the current tax code might speak loudest — more than, say, treating every human equally — to those on the fence about granting gays and lesbians equal marriage rights. Tax credits, deductions, and other benefits simply aren’t available to committed gays. Think what you will about anal sex or women going down on each other, but when it comes to dollars and sense, perhaps America can agree that fair is fair.

Organized protests across the country are being planned (find your city here), with the most buzzworthy event taking place in Boston. There, a Tea Party reenactment is scheduled to update the “no taxation without representation” mantra for the queer community.

Your presence is requested:

Join us on April 15th as we throw symbolic federal tax forms into Boston Harbor, in a lively 21st century recreation of a seminal 18th century blow for freedom and equality. History will come alive that Wednesday at 5:30 on Long Wharf, near the Aquarium T-stop. Present-day patriots are encouraged to attend and wear colonial period costume if so inclined to make a statement against antiquated social policy. … Today our federal government plays favorites by denying some families tax and other legal benefits others get in the same situation. The lash of discrimination is felt particularly hard in the land of Paul Revere and John and Sam Adams. Massachusetts has recognized same-sex marriages for five years, yet gay and lesbian taxpayers are hit with a surtax that married straights don’t pay if their employer’s health insurance covers their spouses.

Organizers promise: You’ll have a gay old time.

Our only question: What will Melissa Etheridge — who promised not to pay her California State taxes until gay marriage was recognized — do on April 15?

(Are you heading to Join The Impact’s Boston Tea Party? File your report with Queerty at [email protected] Photos too!)

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  • Mark M

    I hope that Ethridge doesn’t file. And I hope that the IRS takes everything she owns from under her. The hag defends Rick Warren, and can burn in hell for all I care.

  • Elijah

    “Organized protests across the country” should read:

    “More semi-organized circle jerks across the country”

  • InExile

    Having these protests are great! Many heterosexuals do not know we are taxed unfairly and do not receive any of the federal benefits. This should get some media attention, if we are not in the news cycle, we do not exist. Hopefully, this is a new beginning for a new wave of protests.

  • atdleft

    @Elijah: Well, we shouldn’t just be doing protests. However, now is a good time to protest DOMA to start raising awareness of the inequity allowed under federal law.

  • Chitown Kev

    I get the idea behind these protests, however the extreme right wing is also doing tax protests.

    It seems to me that we need to make a much sharper distinction as to why we are protesting in order to keep from being grouped with the wingnuts. This has the potential to be a PR nightmare.

  • atdleft

    @Mark M: Whoa! I wouldn’t exactly call Melissa Etheridge a “hag”. She’s done plenty to help our community. I do think she’s wrong on giving real bigots like Rick Warren so much leeway, but I wouldn’t put her on the same level.

  • atdleft

    @Chitown Kev: Oh, I agree. They need to make it clear that we’re not anti-tax fundie wingnuts, but rather concerned citizens who don’t appreciate the IRS’ inequity and how it hurts our families.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Elijah – GREAT IDEA. Shitty follow through tell people a few days before it happens? And in some cases they never reached out cities. JoinTheImpact, HRC, MarriageEquality they don;t seem to understand that you really need to get these events togeher and ADVERTISE THEM A FEW WEEKS TO A MONTH BEFORE to get the maximum amount of people there to really make a point.

    They way they do it they get a few and it looks lame.


    Like I said. Great Idea. Shitty follow through.

  • InExile

    @atdleft: Protests are VERY important. The fact our community rarely protests makes it easy for our politicians to just forget about us. Pressure of ALL different types is the only thing to get the politicians to act on our behalf, if they can avoid us, they will. These protests are great but should have been announced months in advance to improve the turnout.

  • atdleft

    @InExile: And let me emphasize ALL DIFFERENT TYPES. I definitely believe in the power of protests and boycotts, but that isn’t all of what we should be doing. We also need to be contacting our legislators, reaching out to our fellow voters, and doing plenty of community service. There’s no “magic tool” that will give us equality, but hopefully we’ll find the “magic” when we use the whole toolbox.

  • Brianna

    Who here isn’t filing taxes?

  • Lynne33

    It’s true that events like Tax Day protests are more successful with more advance notice. So everyone please take note: WE WILL DO TAX DAY PROTESTS AGAIN IN 2010! The exact date is Thursday, April 15, 2010. Let’s get organized earlier next year for maximum impact. Meanwhile, don’t discount the effect this year of a smaller number of people passing out informative fliers, gathering at post offices with protest signs and staging a Gay Boston Tea Party. Every little bit helps. Join in if you can this year — and definitely get involved next year. Remember, this is a grassroots movement. There are no “big organizations” running the show, it’s a whole bunch of volunteers. It’s up to all of us to make things happen.

Comments are closed.