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Gay man sues IRS for $36k tax deduction for cost of IVF, surrogate: IRS rejects

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

TAMPA, Florida, January 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Is the procreative impossibility of homosexual activity the same as heterosexuals being biologically infertile?

Stetson University law professor Joseph Morrissey is suing for a tax deduction of $36,538 for in vitro fertilization treatments and the cost of a surrogate to carry twin boys for himself and his male partner.

In denying Morrissey's claim, the IRS explained that for tax deductions, the medical services must be provided to the taxpayer, his spouse, or his dependent. Therefore, a surrogate does not qualify, and neither does IVF for someone other than the filer, his spouse, or his dependent.

What Morrissey is focusing on, however, is the words of the IRS agent who turned down his IVF tax deduction. The IRS agent noted that Morrissey's sexual orientation is a "choice."

Morrissey's lawsuit states, "Despite the IRS's backward and archaic thinking, plaintiff is not homosexual by 'choice.'" Morrissey claims that the procedures "took nearly four years, seven IVF procedures, three surrogates, three egg donors, two clinics and more than $100,000."

LGBTQ activists are trying to get a legal ruling that homosexuality is genetic, innate, natural, and not a choice. Catherine Sakimura, deputy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, stated, "A gay male couple cannot conceive a child without the assistance of a woman." Therefore, according to Sakimura, two men going outside their homosexual relationship to contract a womb "should be treated the same, in terms of infertility."

Significantly, Morrissey says gay men are "effectively" infertile. His lawsuit claims that he "cannot engage in heterosexual intercourse to conceive children, and cannot do that with his chosen life partner," because doing so would require him "to violate his monogamous relationship and marriage [sic] engagement."

Sakimura argues that the government gives tax deductions to heterosexual couples that can't conceive children, thus it is unconstitutionally discriminatory to deny the same benefit to homosexuals.

Tessa Davis, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, says the tax code should be changed to allow deductions for surrogacy "if the couple can demonstrate medical infertility." Davis argues that, "like a kidney donor, the surrogate provides a substitute for normal functioning of the reproductive systems of the couple."

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Davis told The Tampa Tribune that Morrissey's lawsuit makes the unique legal argument that being homosexual is the same as being medically infertile. She describes the issue as follows: "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."

"It is indeed tragic for the state to treat homosexual couples like infertile heterosexual couples," Americans for Truth's Peter LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews. "The latter create a family, with a mother and a father, like all other natural families the world over – whereas homosexual couples create unnatural, experimental families, that are motherless or fatherless by design."

LaBarbera continued, "Homosexual-led households model immoral same-sex behavior to an innocent child, which itself is wrong and certainly not in the child's best interests."

Morrissey's partner became a Pinellas County middle school mathematics teacher after Morrissey began teaching at Stetson in 2004. The two initially considered adopting a child, but at the time it was still illegal in Florida for gays to adopt. The Florida homosexual adoption ban was ruled unconstitutional in 2010.

After July's Supreme Court's Obergefell decision, the two men announced their intention to call their relationship a marriage.

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