MO to accept joint tax returns from gay couples - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MO to accept joint tax returns from gay couples

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri will begin accepting state tax returns jointly filed by same-sex couples who have legally married in other states.

Nixon announced an executive order on the issue Thursday, saying it applies only to tax filing status and does not permit same-sex marriage. Missouri requires couples who file joint federal returns to also file their state taxes jointly.

Speaking at a news conference, the Democratic governor also said he believes that if "folks want to get married, they should be able to get married."

"We applaud the governor for giving clarity to same-sex couples and providing guidance on how we complete tax return information in the state of Missouri," said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, Missouri's statewide advocacy organization promoting equal treatment under the law for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage in 2004.

Gay couples applauded Nixon's announcement.

Ron Wiseley and Todd Chenault have been together since 1989. They plan to get married later this year in Iowa, which allows gay marriage.

They said they will appreciate the opportunity to file jointly rather than separately, saying it will offer savings for them. They said they appreciate the changing attitudes across the countries about homosexuals.

"We are normal, we are regular people that are devoted to each other just as other couples are," Chenault said. "This is very important to us. We never thought that we would see it in our lifetime."

Wisely said it's a positive step forward.

"The odds of the state of Missouri passing marriage equality are little to say the least. So it's baby steps," he said. "We will take the baby steps."

Republicans didn't have an immediate reaction to KCTV5.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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