The state of Virginia won't recognize
the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for tax purposes.
According to The
Virginian-Pilot, the state announced its position in a
November tax bulletin.
Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive
director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia,
criticized the decision, saying that the Department of Taxation's
requirement that gay spouses file as individuals because Virginia
does not recognize their marriages “reaffirms the commonwealth's
ongoing hostility towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling
gutting a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June, the
federal government, including the IRS, announced that it would
recognize the legal marriages of gay couples.
Virginia voters in 2006 approved a
constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
A recently filed federal lawsuit challenges the ban's
Victoria Cobb, president of the Family
Foundation of Virginia, applauded the state's decision.
“The Virginia Department of Taxation
had no legal choice but to abide by the Constitution of Virginia,
which takes precedent over the tradition of conforming the tax code
to federal rules,” Cobb said in a statement. “We appreciate the
Department and administration putting the rule of law ahead of
Earlier this week, Missouri Governor
Jay Nixon announced that Missouri, a state without marriage equality,
allow married gay couples to file joint state tax returns.