Potential Same-Sex Marriage Benefits: By the Numbers

Gay Rights are Human Rights


Update: Windsor celebrated the historic Supreme Court ruling at the Stonewall Inn in New York's West Village, a bar that was the site of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, considered to be the the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement. The case of United States v. Windsor ultimately led to the overturning of DOMA.

This is the amount New York widower Edith Windsor is suing to get back from estate taxes paid when her partner of more than 40 years died. Currently, widows of federally-recognized marriages don't have to pay taxes on their deceased spouse's estate, whereas same-sex widows pay a 35% tax on anything in excess of the $5-million exemption.

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The amount a same-sex couple with a combined income of $100,000 would save by filing taxes jointly if their income was split $70,000 to $30,000. That amount would change if the gap between spousal incomes were to grow. If one spouse were to make $100,000 while the other made nothing, they would owe $11,858 filing jointly compared to the whopping $19,585 they would owe if they filed separately -- a 65% difference.

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How much couples would save filing taxes jointly if they evenly made $50,000 each. Filing jointly doesn't always equal savings, and some couples will owe more if they file jointly -- especially if their combined income no longer qualifies for certain deductions and credits.

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The amount New York City couple Mikey Rox and Earl Morrow would save on taxes paid on health insurance benefits Mikey receives from Earl's plan. Same-sex couples are taxed on medical benefits received through their partner's employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Additionally, they lose out on thousands of dollars in spousal Social Security benefits as well as survivors benefits if their spouse or partner were to pass away.

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The sum Los Angeles couple Adele and Jennifer Hoppe-House expect to get back if DOMA is struck down. If the courts rule DOMA is unconstitutional, couples can file protective refund claims with the IRS and amend their returns to file jointly, resulting in a refund for the extra tax they paid in the past three years.

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$9.5 billion

The amount the wedding and divorce industry could receive if same-sex marriage is legalized. There are nearly 800,000 same-sex couples currently living together.

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$250 Million

The revenue NYC received in municipalities from wedding license fees when the ban on gay marriage was lifted.

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sticking it to a shareholder who questioned whether the company’s support of marriage equality was negatively impacting its profits. “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country,” Shultz replied. “You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

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  • GA

    You forgot about the immigration benefit (green card) for bi-national gay couples.