Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s ban on gay marriage

A lawsuit filed by Louisiana's Forum for Equality is challenging Louisiana's refusal to acknowledge same-sex marriage, particularly when it comes to filing tax returns.

It all stems from a Shreveport couple who found filing taxes contradictory and a violation of personal rights-forcing them to falsify their marital status on the state forms.

Kathy Abshire and Kathy Roy are still in newlywed bliss. Wed in November, a marriage certificate solidified their 10-year relationship-but not in Louisiana, the place where they fell in love and run a business.

Abshire says marriage has not changed much around their home, but when it comes to filing this year's taxes, their returns will be contradictory.

“It places a burden on us because of that and we will have to falsify and say that we're not married, we're single,” said Abshire.

And they're not alone. That's the basis behind a lawsuit filed by the Forum for Equality on behalf of a Shreveport couple challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Lafayette accountant, Jack Koubi, who runs Champion Tax Services says this is new territory while the courts figure out the disparity.

“You can work on filing federal tax return then wait until the issue clears,” said Koubi. “But of course, it's going to take a while to get it clear in states that don't recognize gay marriage.”

Koubi says all things considered, for same-sex spouses, filing federal returns is most important. However, there will be a major difference in tax credits. Despite tax credits and the headache of what's to come, in the great scheme of things, Abshire says recognizing her marriage as equal is what matters most.

“It matters. It's not just the name of marriage,” said Abshire. “It matters for the heart, respect, and for the legality.”

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