Could South Carolina ruling on same-sex tax filing be catalyst for change?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) issued its decree that it will not allow legally married same-sex couples - i.e. those who were wed in a state where its legal, but now reside in South Carolina - to file joint tax returns. During the wait during the last few weeks, many of us chose to abide in hope but at the same time, we were still very much aware of the challenge that we faced simply because South Carolina is South Carolina. Our institutions of government are not likely to make the list of those who nurture the most gay-friendly environment. Some may attribute it to bureaucracy but my personal assessment is far less generous.

There are matters that were not discussed in polite company at one time. One of the great old Southern traditions is that we live in denial of subjects that make us uncomfortable. Our state officials are doing their best to uphold that fine tradition. While the IRS will allow the legally-married couples to file joint returns like every other married couple, the honorable officials of the Great State of South Carolina are asking those same couples to lie.

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