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Same-Sex Couples React to Governor's Executive Order

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued an executive order this week, making state tax returns easier for same-sex married couples.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued an executive order this week, making state tax returns easier for same-sex married couples.

This sparked controversy in a state that doesn't currently acknowledge the unions.

His decision followed an announcement this September from the federal IRS that it would accept joint tax returns from legally married same-sex couples, regardless of their state of residence.

Ashley Quinn married her wife, Kate, in Massachusetts four years ago.

She's happy about being able to file her federal and now state taxes jointly as a legally married couple.

"Less stress around just the emotional aspect of basically saying you're married in some circles and saying you're single in others," Quinn said.

Quinn believes Missouri should recognize same-sex marriage in all aspects of law and of life.

But said she's glad for any small change, even if it's taxes.

"It's just one more way of affirming that we're just like everybody else and we deserve the same rights as everyone else. This is a very kind of practical beaurocratic paperwork way of saying it, but it's a way of saying it," she said.

Stephanie Perkins is the Deputy Director of PROMO, an LGBT advocacy group in Missouri.

"We didn't really know how people were going to fill out their federal taxes," she said.

She feels Nixon's executive order addresses a concern the community has had since the IRS decision in September.

"This clears up a lot of confusion and allows people to file their taxes. Deductions and things like that are still separate, but it does allow the parts that are attached to the federal taxes to be able to match up," Perkins said.

Representative Tim Jones disagrees with the governor.

He said in a statement, "this executive order is...  ignoring a constitutional amendment to provide the governor's liberal allies a policy victory."

Missourians like Ashley Quinn said, at the very least, the executive order is going to make their lives a little more simple during tax season.
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