By Derrick DePledge
Legally married gay couples will be treated the same as heterosexual couples for federal tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday.
The move comes as the federal government adjusts to U.S. Supreme Court rulings in June that legally married gay couples are entitled to federal benefits.
Hawaii United for Marriage described the change as another compelling reason why Hawaii, which allows civil unions, should quickly adopt marriage quality.
From Rep. Chris Lee:
This is a significant ruling and further proof that civil unions are not enough. We need to act now in a special session so gay couples in Hawaii can be treated just like other married couples. Delaying until 2014 will deny them this opportunity to be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, and that includes income, gift and estate taxes that could save those families tens of thousands of dollars.
Religious conservatives, meanwhile, credited lobbying by the faithful against a special session on gay marriage for influencing Gov. Neil Abercrombie's decision not to call lawmakers back to the Capitol at this time.
From New Hope Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, via Facebook:
Thank you to the many people who wrote and spoke to their representatives and senators and to the many who prayed. There will NOT be a special session held to pass the SSM bill into law at this time.
I had a wonderful lunch with the Governor and he assured me that leaders of the faith community will be able to sit with him or the Attorney General to discuss the ramifications of this bill and how it will affect churches. The Governor was very open and wants to insure the rights of the people of faith.
Conservative Republicans are raising their rhetoric against a gay marriage bill, telling supporters that it could lead to polyamorous or bigamous marriages.
From Tito Montes, of the Hawaii Republican Assembly:
In addition, the bill under consideration DOES NOT prevent Hawaii courts or Federal courts from allowing a bisexual to simultaneously marry a man and a woman, giving way to polyamorous and bigamous 'marriages'. Nor does the Democrats' so-called "marriage equality" bill -- which basically translates sexual orientations into unprecedented and controversial matrimonial opportunities -- prevent any courts from sanctioning the kind of polygamy that has always been outlawed.