Legislation introduced by openly gay
New York Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell would allow married gay and
lesbian couples to file joint state tax returns.
While lawmakers rejected a bill that
would have legalized gay marriage in the nation's third most populous
state last year, New York is moving ahead in recognizing legal gay
marriages performed outside its borders. Neighboring Connecticut,
Vermont and Canada offer the institution.
Under New York law, gay couples are
forbidden from filing joint state tax returns because the state
determines an individual's income tax filing status by his or her
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal agencies,
including the Internal Revenue Service.
“This legislation will bring state
tax law into compliance with the most current legal precedents,”
O'Donnell said. “New York State must remove every statutory
barrier to the full recognition of legal same-sex marriages. Gay and
lesbian spouses deserve every financial benefit that currently
accrues to heterosexual married couples regardless of whether or not
the federal government recognizes those unions.”
The bill is expected to face a steep
incline in the state Senate that blocked gay marriage from becoming
law last year.
Maryland also recognizes out-of-state
gay marriages, allowing couples to marry in nearby District of