Carver Tax Service in Russiaville, Indiana had done Bailey Brazzel’s taxes for the past 4 years, but that ended this year when Brazzel showed up with her wife, Samantha.. The two were married in Peru in July and were filing their taxes jointly for the first time.
This year though Nancy Fivecoate, who runs Carver Tax refused to do their taxes citing her religious beliefs, and recommended another tax service business which would work with them.
“At first we thought she was kidding, But when she started talking about the Bible, we knew she was serious – and I was completely shocked.” Brazzel said. “You hear about it all the time, but nothing like this has happened to us before. She had done my taxes with no issues before, but now that we were married and she didn’t agree with my life choices, she wouldn’t.”
Fivecoate has said she is simply sticking to her religious convictions.
“This year, [Brazzel] came with her wife and I declined to prepare the taxes because of my religious beliefs,” Fivecoate said in a released statement. “I am a Christian and I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. I was very respectful to them. I told them where I thought she might be able to get her taxes prepared.”
Fivecoate (of course) said she has other gay clients, and has no issues preparing their taxes. She said it becomes an issue when the couple is married.
Denying a gay couple service is perfectly legal in parts of Indiana that haven’t passed ordinances specifically protecting people who are LGBT. That includes Russiaville and Howard County where Carver Tax Service is located.
Indiana law makes it illegal to deny services to people based on their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, familial status (having children under 18) and disability – but not sexual orientation.
Fifty years after the Stonewall riots and fifty-five years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is still no explicit federal protections against discrimination for LGBT Americans.