New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr.
is not “comfortable” with a bill that would allow married gay and
lesbian couples to file joint state tax returns.
Diaz became the face of opposition in
the Senate to last year's bill that would have legalized gay marriage
in the Empire State. While the bill died in the Senate, New York is
moving ahead in recognizing legal gay marriages performed outside its
borders. Neighboring Connecticut, Vermont and Canada offer the
Openly gay New York Assemblyman Daniel
O'Donnell introduced the bill that seeks to remove a barrier that
forbids gay couples from filing jointly.
The state determines an individual's
income tax filing status by his or her federal status. The Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a heterosexual union for
federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service.
The language has been tucked inside the
Legislature's revenue bill currently being debated.
Diaz, a Pentecostal minister, told
the New York Daily News that he was not “comfortable”
with the legislation.