Monday, January 26, 2009

Guess What? If You're Queer in Oregon You Get to Do Extra Paperwork! Yay for Separate and Not so Equal!

Boy I really thought I did a good job this year. With my taxes that is. Many years ago I used to wait until the last minute to complete my taxes because I dislike paperwork. When it began to dawn on me that usually I get hundreds of dollars back for just filling out some forms, I started to love doing my taxes. This year I finished my taxes before my W2 even arrived at my home thanks to my employer having a program that allows us to see our W2's right after the new year. I gave myself a pat on the back for being a good citizen, put a fabulous magenta wool dress coat on lay-a-way and proceeded to feel like a fairly mature lady.

Then I read a recent Just Out article over the weekend about how domestic partners in Oregon must file state taxes together. This wouldn't have bothered me really except for two things:

  1. I had already completed my taxes & now have to complete an amended form
  2. My spouse & I have to file our federal taxes as single and our state forms as married or RDP's (Registered Domestic Partners). This means we have fill out two federal forms, one "legit" one as single and one "as if" form that we use for our state taxation.

Confused yet? Even the CEO of our company location and her partner didn't know about this, so I guess I'm not the only one.

Needless to say as someone who is not a fan of filling out forms, this sucks. It also proves without a doubt that legalized same sex partnerships are not equal in the state of Oregon (or anywhere else for that matter including Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, etc) because those of us who need basic protections for our family have to not only do extra paperwork, but to add insult to injury, call ourselves single on one form and "married" on another when we know we are the latter. It's rude & mean and I seriously doubt married heterosexuals would ever put up with this bullshit. So why the hell are we?

It's the "I'll take what I can get" mindset for me on this issue I guess. At least my love and I can have some protections in state (let's not forget the minute we go out of state we no longer can legally claim one another) and for that I would fill out a thousand forms. That doesn't mean however that we should have to simply because we love each other. This inequality makes me want to do a hunger strike on the capitol steps or something else really out there. We shouldn't have to be treated this way, like there is something wrong with us so we need to fill out an extra form just to be included in society.

I never asked to be queer. I never asked to feel such love for another woman. I cannot change my heart and I shouldn't have to. And I won't, no matter how many times I have to be made to feel less than by our government. I just won't!

New forms are on the way from good ol' uncle Sam. I'll fill out the extra forms with my spouse and know it means we're protected and I'll be happy about that. I'll also remember that our fight for full equality is not over and that together, my love & I will are stronger than any kind of legalized discrimination.


Anonymous said...

Keep the faith..if we can get a predident of color in the office their is hope. Prop 8 was barely passed from what I heard ( i could be wrong) Soon our generation will truely run this country and we all know that the kind of discrimination you experence will no longer be acceptable or tolerated.
I will keep loving, accepting and fighting until all are equal and I will raise my daughters in such a way as to include everyone and exclude no one.
I love you so...much and look forward to introducing my girls to you and Mychael.
Mrs. E

Fran Sky said...

Thank you sweetie for your words! Yes one day we all will be equal. I'll never give up & I know you won't either. See you soon (as in September).