POLITICS
05/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gay Activists Plan Their Own Tea Party At Boston Harbor

Tea party protests won't be limited to the rightward-leaning, anti-spending, anti-tax crowd come April 15. In Massachusetts, the LGBT community is planning to reenact the Boston Tea Party to protest the tax code's unequal treatment of same-sex couples. Similar protests are also planned for post offices across the country.

The press release:

LGBT COMMUNITY DEMANDS EQUAL TAXATION
Boston Tea Party Re-enactment Planned for Tax Day

BOSTON, MA - On April 15th, thousands of same-sex couples across the United States will be reminded of their second-class status when they file their federal tax return form. Despite living in committed relationships, same-sex couples--even those married in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California--must file as individuals, forgoing over 1,100 federal rights granted to heterosexual married couples.

This tax day, the LGBT community is demanding equal rights for equal taxation. Massachusetts citizens will be at the Long Wharf dock, near the site of the original Boston Tea Party, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm putting on a Boston Tea Party Re-enactment, rallying and passing out literature to protest the federal government's tax policy toward same-sex couples. The intent is to inform the public of the discrimination that same-sex couples continue to face.

Rallies are being planned at local post offices across the country and these events have been sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBT rights organization in the United States, Join The Impact, Join The Impact MA, and Marriage Equality USA.

"Married same-sex couples are blatantly discriminated against under federal tax law, among other areas, and we're doing our part to shine a light on that injustice. A Boston Tea Party Re-enactment is a spirited way to do just that and it also adds some variety to your standard protest," said Paul Sousa, co-chair of Join The Impact MA.

Among the most egregious policies is the federal government's denial of social security benefits and inheritance rights to same-sex couples. LGBT individuals are blocked access to their partner's social security benefits, often making retirement financially difficult, if not impossible. They are also denied access to the lump sum given to survivors which can make it hard to cover hospital and funeral expenses for their loved one.

The Boston Tea Party Re-enactment is being organized by Join the Impact MA, a grassroots organization that is working towards full LGBT equality on the state and national level. More information about the rallies and their locations can be found at the website http://www.jointheimpactMA.com/taxday/.