Cambridge, Mass. To Pay Married Gay Couples More
The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts will start paying employees who are part of a legal same-sex marriage more to offset the additional federal taxes they must pay because they are unable to file their Federal taxes as a married couple:
When the city of Cambridge issues paychecks to its public employees, nearly two dozen workers find a federal tax on their income that their colleagues don’t have to pay.
Like many people, these 22 school and city workers chose to put their spouses on their employer-provided health insurance. Because they’re in a homosexual relationship, the value of that health coverage is considered taxable income by the federal government.
But starting this month, Cambridge will become what is believed to be the first municipality in the country to pay its public employees a stipend in an attempt to defray the cost of the federal tax on health benefits for their same-sex spouses.
The city employees hit by the extra tax pay an additional $1,500 to $3,000 in taxes a year and officials estimate the stipends would cost the city an additional $33,000.
“This is about equality,” said Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge city councilor. “This is a city that models what equality really means.”
Of the thousands of legally married gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts, none can receive the federal benefits offered to heterosexual married couples because the federal government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages.
Those benefits include Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration rights, family leave and the ability to file joint tax returns
This is all necessary because Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as only being between a man and woman. Until that’s struck down, I suspect you’ll see public and private employees doing things like this.