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LGBT couples speak out against NC tax code

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Several couples spoke out about the hardships they face because North Carolina refuses to recognize their marriages, even though the federal government recognizes the unions. Several couples spoke out about the hardships they face because North Carolina refuses to recognize their marriages, even though the federal government recognizes the unions.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Same-sex couples in North Carolina are speaking out against a tax code they say unfairly penalizes gay and lesbian couples.

The LGBT advocacy group Equality N.C. talked taxes Tuesday night at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. Several couples spoke out about the hardships they face because North Carolina refuses to recognize their marriages, even though the federal government recognizes the unions.

For some, it means having to maintain separate bank accounts and filling out duplicate forms.

"It's confusing. It's frustrating, I think, for people like us to be in this situation," Marie Baker of Durham said. "I think the silver living is that there is somebody out there, a CPA who supports this and who is knowledgeable on this issue to be able to help get us through it."

Equality N.C. wants North Carolina to follow Missouri's lead.

Last year, the state announced that gay couples who were married in other states could file tax returns jointly, despite the fact that their marriages are not recognized in Missouri.

But conservatives say even though the tax code may be complicated, it's the Obama administration that caused the confusion, not North Carolina lawmakers.

"Up until the Obama administration decided that same-sex couples were going to be able to file joint returns, then the situation was not complicated, so it was the federal government that complicated the situation," Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation said.

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