Is being gay, in a long-term committed relationship, the same as being biologically infertile?
That’s the argument being made by a Stetson law professor in a lawsuit against the federal government.
Joseph F. Morrissey, who teaches constitutional and business law at Stetson, is seeking to overturn a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that denied him and his partner a tax deduction. The deduction would have been for costs associated with their use of in-vitro fertilization and a surrogate who gave birth to their twin sons.
An IRS revenue agent who denied the claim said Morrissey’s sexual orientation was a “choice,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa.
Although there have been unsuccessful legal challenges to these deduction denials for gay men, Davis told The Tampa Tribune that Morrissey’s lawsuit makes a different legal argument — that being gay and in a committed relationship is the same as being medically infertile.
“I think it pushes the issue more clearly than perhaps was argued in (a previous case). It’s going to push the (IRS) to address this issue of, ‘Look I may not be infertile as defined by your standards historically or even as defined by medical textbooks, but the bare reality is that I can’t have a child without some type of costs that derive from the opposite gender.’ ’’
We also think that it is about time that the IRS catch up with the realities of real life – gay or straight.