With Equality, Some Gay Couples May Suffer from Marriage Penalty

Government can make anything suck


If the Supreme Court decides to alter the way the federal government recognizes gay marriage, it could have an unexpected impact for some same-sex couples: higher taxes. …

Same-sex couples are excluded from federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the estate tax exemption and Social Security and Medicare payments for spouses.

That would all change if justices rule that DOMA, or the other law in question — California's Proposition 8 — violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

But along with new benefits would come a bigger tax bite, for some.

That's because of the so-called marriage penalty.