Third Way Perspectives

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Posts Tagged ‘lgbt’

Dear John (Boehner)

November 12th, 2013

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Dear Speaker Boehner,

I know you’re having a really rough fall, and you may be sitting in your office right now, wistfully wishing the holiday recess would arrive. But the Senate has just passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would protect LGBT Americans from being fired because of who they are. And you can bring ENDA up for a vote without facing shutdown-style fallout — instead just skipping straight to the standing ovation. Here’s why:

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Ending the Gay Health Care Tax

June 1st, 2011

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This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Suppose your boss told the IRS that you made three thousand dollars more than you actually did this year? Or added a few hundred dollars in pretend income each pay period, withheld taxes on it, but then didn’t actually put it in your paycheck? And what if the federal government forced your employer to pay taxes on this imaginary chunk of cash?

It may sound crazy, but that’s the reality for many gay Americans — and the companies who employ them.

It turns out that even a gay couple that is legally married or registered as domestic partners cannot accept standard employer benefits like health care for a spouse or partner without paying a special and cumbersome tax. That is because, according to federal tax law, employer-provided health care insurance for an opposite-sex spouse is considered a benefit, but for a same-sex couple, it is considered income. The difference? Income is taxed; benefits are not. Read the rest of this entry »