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Lawsuit Challenges Nixon's Order Allowing Same-Sex Married Couples to File Joint Taxes

Several weeks ago, Governor Jay Nixon issued an executive order: he said the Missouri Department of Revenue had to accept joint state income tax returns from same-sex married couples who were legally married in other states. But now, a lawsuit is challenging Nixon's order as unconstitutional.
Nixon 2011 State of State Address
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, D, delivering the 2011 State of the State Address/Credit: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Stephany Perkins, deputy director of the group PROMO, has been looking forward to filing joint taxes with her same-sex partner. The two were married in Iowa last spring.

“Even though it didn’t feel good to file your taxes as single, legally you filed them as single, anyway. ... Couples who were married in another state would have to fill out five different tax forms just to file their state and federal taxes unless he issued this exeutive order,” said Perkins.

Even though Perkins' marriage is now recognized by the US Treasury Department, it's still not considered legal in Missouri. But Nixon's executive order means she can now file her taxes as a married person instead of an individual, and that will remain, unless his order is overturned in court.

According to the Associated Press, the plaintiffs filing the new lawsuit include the Missouri Family Network and Reverend Justin Mosher, pastor of the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention.  They say Nixon’s order is in direct violation of the Missouri constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2004 that bars same-sex marriages.  

The lawsuit will not affect same-sex couple’s taxes this year.

For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers.