The Buzz

April 15, 2014

Same-sex marriage supporters protest S.C. tax policies

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to thebuzz@thestate.com.

On tax day, Shauna Hannan is stuck.

Hannan, her wife and other legally married same-sex couples who are South Carolina residents cannot file their state taxes in a correct and complete way, she told a group gathered to protest the state’s tax policies Tuesday afternoon.

Same-sex marriage supporters gathered on Tax Day at the Reformation Lutheran Church in north Columbia to protest the S.C. Department of Revenue requirement for same-sex couples to file their taxes as single, even if they were legally married in another state.

The Internal Revenue Service requires legally married same-sex couples to file as married on federal taxes.

Hannan has two options when filling out her state tax form “married filing jointly,” and “married filing separately,” she said. But because same-sex couples must file as single in South Carolina, neither truthfully describes her situation, she said.

“For me there’s a missing box,” Hannan told those at Reformation Lutheran Church in north Columbia. The accurate description would be “married filing single,” she said.

Ryan Wilson, director of S.C. Equailty, said the state's requirement makes it so the couples are only married 364 days out of the year.

But marriage is a commitment that is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of the year, he said. That commitment is represented by the wedding ring, which Wilson called supporters to take off on Tax Day as a protest of the one day same-sex marriage is not recognized.

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