IRS Denies Gay Couple’s Deduction For Fertility Treatments, Says Homosexuality Is A “Choice”

A gay Florida couple saw their claim denied, even though heterosexual couples can deduct fertility treatments.

A gay couple is suing the federal government after the IRS denied their tax deductions for in vitro fertilization treatments and surrogacy.

Joseph F. Morrissey, a law professor at Stetson University, is hoping to overturn a ruling that denied him and his fiancé deductions covering the conception and birth of their twin sons, who were born last year.

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In a lawsuit filed in Tampa, Morrissey alleged the IRS agent who denied the claim stated their sexual orientation was a “choice.”

“Bringing twin boys into the world took nearly four years, seven IVF procedures (including those scrubbed at the last minute for failed medical exams), three surrogates, three egg donors, two clinics and more than $100,000,” claims Morrissey, who filed for $36,538 in medical deductions for the 2011 tax year.

Morrissey and other activists claim they should be considered like any other infertile couple.

“[Plaintiff] cannot engage in heterosexual intercourse to conceive children and cannot do that with his chosen life partner,” the suit claims. “Doing so would also require plaintiff to violate his monogamous relationship and marriage engagement.”

Costs associated with fertility treatments—as well as contraception and abortion—are generally accepted deductions for heterosexual couples, but the IRS insists the service must be provided to the taxpayer, his spouse or a dependent. Same-sex marriage has only been legal in Florida since January 2015.

While this summer’s Supreme Court ruling brought marriage equality to the nation, issues surrounding child-bearing are still unanswered. That’s also the case for insurance companies, which may not cover such procedures for same-sex couples.

Morrissey and his partner, a middle-school math teacher, have been together for 15 years and moved to Florida in 2004.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.