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Neal Floor Speech on PRIDE Act

July 24, 2019
Press Release

(As Prepared for Delivery)

I thank the gentlewoman. And I would like to once again commend Congresswoman Judy Chu for her leadership on this legislation.

 

For far too long, LGBTQ Americans have been denied equal treatment under the tax code. Six years after the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to deny married same-sex couples the full rights and privileges of marriage, Congress has yet to rectify the consequences of the tax code's discrimination against LGBTQ couples. We must live up to our duty to govern in a manner such that everyone is treated equally under the law, which is why I rise today in support of this bill.

 

Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Recognizing the deep historical importance of this event in a decades-long fight for equality, the PRIDE Act seeks both to end and correct the discriminatory practices in our tax system affecting the LGBTQ community.

 

This legislation clarifies that all federal tax provisions respecting marriage will apply to legally married same-sex couples by removing gendered language related to married couples from the tax code.

 

Additionally, this bill will reconcile discriminatory federal policies by ensuring fair tax treatment for same-sex couples for every year of their marriage. I take pride in hailing from the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. And while Massachusetts has issued marriage licenses to all couples since 2004, the federal government has failed to recognize the full tenure of the legal marriage status for same-sex couples married before 2010.

 

This legislation will extend same-sex couples the opportunity to amend their returns to reflect their marital status and claim the ensuing tax benefits wrongfully denied to them before 2010.

 

The changes in this bill state loudly and clearly that the federal government respects the dignity and equality of all married couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. And for this reason, it is my sincere wish that all my colleagues join me in supporting this legislation.

 

And again, I want to thank Representative Chu for putting forth legislation that moves us closer to ensuring that our laws respect the dignity of all Americans.

 

And with that, I yield back.

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