Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dignity, Respect, and Equal Treatment (O'Donnabhain Trial Concludes)

Trial ended today in Rhiannon O'Donnabhain's challenge of the IRS over their refusal to allow her a tax deduction for the costs of her treatment for Gender Identity Disorder. The IRS presented testimony from a final expert witness and both sides made their closing arguments.

Both parties will next file briefs with the court on November 6. Following that, each side will have seventy-five days to file a response brief (due January 21, 2008), after which the judge will issue a decision.

At the conclusion of today's trial proceedings, Rhiannon O'Donnabhain issued the following statement:

"I'm glad to have had the opportunity to tell my story and it was important for me personally, as a citizen and tax-payer, to have my day in court.

It also was important for the transgender community, my community, to speak in an official forum about what it means to be a transgender person living in this country.

I hope that this case sends a clear message that transgender people deserve dignity, respect, and equal treatment not just for our medical care, but in all aspects of our lives - just as every human being deserves dignity, respect and equal treatment.

I also hope that this case addresses some of the misunderstanding, bias, and prejudice transgender people face in our lives every day. Because what's really at the heart of this case - and my story - is a basic misunderstanding about the critical importance of being able to express my gender identity. It's something everyone should be able to do."


dan mouer said...

Thank you so much Ms. O'Donnabhain for fighting this good fight, and thank you GLAD for standing with her.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Looks like the fight is in the hands of private citizens. I have petitioned the I.R.S. and will get a trial in California. I did not file for 2004, they claim I owe $$807,330.00 for that year. I will gladly pay taxes if we are considered first class citizens. The petition for Redetermination of a Deficiency reads as follows. "Petitioner objects to the discriminatory treatment of same=sex couples under the Internal Revenue Code. Under DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) A taxpayer in a same-sex relationship may not claim the status of a married person on the federal income tax return. Petitioner Merrill and his partner of 17 years are registered as domestic partners in the state of California and receive most state benefits granted to married couples. Petitioner's claim in this case is the he should be accorded maried, rather than singler, filing status on his tax forms. Petitioner challenges the constitutionality of DOMA on a number of grounds, including equal protection, due process, separation of church and state, and the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment."
I am prepared to serve jail time. I am 73, and if we don't fight, nothing will be changed.
Charles Merrill
(clicked anonymous) because I forgot my username.

GLAD said...

Thank you for the comment and sharing your story. If anyone is looking for further tax information, GLAD has a publication with advice on tax filing for married same-sex couples (focusing on the New England states), available at Our InfoLine is also available to help answer specific questions.