Etheridge Threatens To Stop Paying Taxes

Melissa Etheridge, who married partner Tammy Lynn Michaels in September, says she intends to exercise civil disobedience to express her anger over the passage of California’s Proposition 8 that stripped the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state.

In a blog posted Nov. 7 on Tina Brown’s new Web site The Daily Beast, Etheridge announced that she intends to quit paying state income tax because “I am not a full citizen.”

Prop. 8, which was narrowly approved by voters Nov. 4, constitutionally defines marriage in California as being between “one man and one woman.”

Etheridge wrote, “There is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California.

“Oh, and I am sure Ellen [DeGeneres] will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in state taxes too. Wow, Come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We’re gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now: single, married, divorced, gay. Check here if you are gay. Yeah, that’s not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teaches and such, they won’t have to pay their taxes either.”

Etheridge decried the stratgy and tactics used by supporters of Prop. 8 and puzzled over the fact that the nation could elect the first African-American to the office of president while stripping rights from a segment of California citizens.

“I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is,” she warned. “Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.”

Opponents of the initiative filed lawsuits the day after its passage, charging that eliminating the right of same sex couples to marry was a constitutional revision rather than an amendment and required the prior approval of 2/3 of each house of the California State Legislature.