State Official: No Joint Returns for Gay Couples

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — Gay couples who were legally married in other states cannot file joint Montana income-tax returns.

Montana Revenue Director Mike Kadas told an interim legislative panel Tuesday that’s because of a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports Kadas told the Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee that same-sex couples can file joint federal tax returns.

But he says the Montana Revenue Department cannot do the same for state returns because of the constitutional provision.

In response to a question by Democratic Sen. Dick Barrett of Missoula, Kadas said the state could be subject to an equal-protection lawsuit under the U.S. Constitution.

Barrett says it appears the only way to fix it would be to remove the 2004 voter-approved amendment.

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