The conversation in Congress concerning reparations—the government paying back members of the African-American community who were previously afflicted through slavery and segregation—is starting to evolve to include other groups of people.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter on Saturday to argue in favor of gay reparations as she claims the “government owes them more than $50 million.”
Her argument concerns the period in American history where gay and lesbian couples could not file jointly so they missed out on tax breaks.
“It wasn’t until marriage equality became law that gay & lesbian couples could jointly file tax returns—so they paid more in taxes. Our government owes them more than $50M for the years our discriminatory tax code left them out,” Warren tweeted.
“We must right these wrongs,” she contended.
Here’s more, from the Mic report she posted:
On June 20, Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren introduced the Refund Equality Act, a bill that would benefit same-sex couples formerly discriminated against through the U.S. Tax Code due to unequal marriage laws.
If the act passes, LGBTQ+ couples married in states where their union was recognized before gay marriage was legalized nationwide in 2013 could amend their past tax returns to receive IRS refunds. According to NBC News, that’s approximately $57 million in total owed to countless couples who weren’t able to jointly file federal tax returns prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.
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As Warren noted in a statement, her home of Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage back in 2004. Yet because the government’s definition of marriage didn’t match the state’s, many married LGBTQ+ couples in Massachusetts, depending on their incomes and individual finances, were prevented from receiving the refunds they deserved.
“The federal government forced legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts to file as individuals and pay more in taxes for almost a decade,” Warren said. “We need to call out that discrimination and to make it right — Congress should pass the Refund Equality Act immediately.”