US: South Carolina bill would allow married gay couples to file joint tax returns

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A state representative in the US state of South Carolina has filed a bill which would allow married same-sex couples to file joint tax returns.

Despite same-sex marriage being illegal in the state, the bill from Representative Todd Rutherford would allow legally married same-sex couples to file their tax returns jointly.

The federal government officially now recognises married same-sex couples since the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in June 2013.

The State Department of Revenue has proposed a rule which would require the couples to file separate state tax returns.

“Requiring legally married same-sex couples to file excess paperwork and additional tax forms is not only discriminatory, but it is a waste of time and tax dollars,” Rutherford said in a news release. “By putting this additional burden on legally married couples, the state of South Carolina is intentionally creating bureaucratic red tape for political purposes. It simply isn’t right and it is our responsibility to change this discriminatory policy.”

A bill was also filed by Rutherford which would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which was overwhelmingly voted in in 2006.