While Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is being challenged, supporters of overturning the ban are optimistic that eventually, gay and lesbian couples will have the freedoms that other married couples do. But in the meantime, some are calling on the governor, attorney general, and lawmakers to make life easier for those who were married outside of Virginia—and it's as simple as changing the state tax code.
Equality Virginia is urging Governor McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring to take steps to allow married lesbian and gay couples to file their state tax returns based on their federal returns. For Stephanie and Desiree Bryan, timing is everything. Before long, Desiree will deliver the couple's twin daughters. While they live in Central Virginia, they were married in Washington, DC. Desiree says that's recognized on the federal tax form but in Virginia, they must file separately. And while Stephanie is the biological mother, she will have to go through an adoption process since Desiree is bearing the children. Attorney Katie Fletcher says immediate steps can be taken about the taxes—as was the case in Missouri, which also does not recognize same-sex marriage. Fletcher says since couples like the Bryans cannot file their state taxes based on their federal returns, it's a long, arduous, and costly process for both to file their taxes accurately every year. Equality Virginia is urging Governor McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring to take steps to allow married lesbian and gay couples to file their state tax returns based on their federal returns.