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Colorado Senate Approves Bill Allowing LGBT Couples To File Joint State Tax Returns

401(K) 2013
Flickr- Creative Commons

Breaking along party lines, the Colorado Senate Tuesday passed, on an initial vote, a proposal to allow gay couples legally married in other states to file a joint Colorado tax return.

The bill [.pdf] would modify state statutes to link a couple’s state tax filings to a federal tax filing.

In a statement released by One Colorado, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, Executive Director Dave Montez says the passage of the bill is a step forward in providing LGBT couples equal protections under the law.

“Today’s Senate passage of SB-19 is an important step forward for loving, committed couples across our state – who would gain important protections to take care of each other and their families through this legislation,” he said. “But the reality is that this law wouldn’t even be necessary if everyone in Colorado had the freedom to marry. So while we celebrate the fair-minded Senators whose leadership helped move SB-19 forward, we know we must continue working to secure marriage equality in our state. No Coloradan should be denied the basic freedom of marrying the person they love.”

KDVR TV reports Senator Ted Harvey (R-Highlands Ranch) spoke for the opposition. He argued the proposal marks a “gratuitous attack on traditional marriage.”

While gay marriage remains illegal in Colorado, couples who marry in states where it is legal can file joint federal taxes wherever they reside. However, because of the 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Colorado, LGBT couples cannot file state taxes jointly. 

The bill, sponsored by Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver), needs a final vote in the Senate before moving on to the house. 


Editor: A previous version of this story inadvertently referred to Senator Ted Harvey as Pat Harvey.

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