Indiana same-sex couple denied tax service; owner cites religious beliefs


    Photos from Fox 59 in Indianapolis

    An Indiana couple says they were denied tax service because they're a same-sex couple, according to Fox 59.

    On February 12, Bailey and Samantha Brazzel went to Carter Tax Service in Russiaville to file a joint tax return, and owner Nancy Fivecoate denied them, our source says.

    Fivecoate released a statement about the incident, citing religious beliefs and saying, in part: "I am a Christian, and I believe marriage is between one man and one woman."

    The incident has since gained nation traction, with news outlets from all over the U.S. covering the story.

    Indiana laws say that denying services to a gay couple is not illegal, unless the municipality, county or city has specifically passed an ordinance that prohibits it, says Fox 59.

    Our source says the owner of the tax business released a statement about the incident:

    "On Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 I had a client with an appointment come in to have her taxes prepared. I have prepared her taxes for several years. This year she came in with her wife and I declined to prepare her taxes because of my religious beliefs. I am a Christian, and I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.
    "For many years I have had several gay clients. I still have gay clients.
    "A few years a go I had a couple of gay clients that married. When it was time to prepare their taxes they called me and asked me if I had a problem since they were married. I told them that as a Christian I could not prepare their taxes. I thanked them for calling and I wished them well.
    "The LGBT want respect for their beliefs, which I give them. I did not say anything about their lifestyle. That is their choice. It is not my choice. Where is there respect for my beliefs?
    "I am not trying to destroy them by dragging them through social media. Why are they trying to destroy my name? I have made no comment on social media. Where is there respect for me and my beliefs."

    Fox 59 also says the couple released a statement about it:

    “We never expected anything to come of a Facebook post. But all we really want is for it to shed light on the fact that there aren’t any laws protecting the LGBT community from discrimination. Marriage equality has been the law of the land since 2015, and yet businesses can deny services because of our marriage. That isn’t right.”

    Where do you stand with this?

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