Kentucky tax preparer says couples welcome, but ‘homosexual marriage not recognized’

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2021/04/07/kentucky-tax-preparer-posts-sign-homosexual-marriage-not-recognized/7103520002/

On a window outside Aries Tax Service in Radcliff, Kentucky, signs promote how customers can e-file returns for $55 as long as they provide 10 things to Ken Randall, the registered tax return preparer at the Hardin County business.

The alphabetized list includes documents, forms and information they need to provide when they complete their taxes.

But the last thing Randall lists on his “I Need” placard is something he doesn’t want:

“Homosexual marriage not recognized,” the bottom of the sign reads.

Seeing that statement left Amy Mudd and her wife “feeling hurt and discriminated against,” the Glasgow woman told The Courier Journal.

Mudd said her mother-in-law live in Hardin County and recommended Randall’s business because of the flat fee of $55.

After talking with Randall over the phone and setting up an appointment, Mudd and her wife of five years, Stephanie, drove a little over an hour from Glasgow to Radcliff on April 3, but they never stepped inside the office.

When they pulled into the parking lot and noticed the “homosexual marriage not recognized” portion of the sign on the window, Stephanie took a photo and drove away.

Amy Mudd and her wife, Stephanie, decided to not go inside Aries Tax Service in Radcliff, Kentucky, on Saturday, April 3, 2021, after noticing a sign outside the business said, "Homosexual marriage not recognized."
 

“We are NOT doing any business here,” Mudd said her wife angrily declared.

“We have a wonderful family, and to be shamed because of who I love is awful,” Mudd told The Courier Journal in an email, adding she and her wife have twin daughters, four dogs and a cat.

“It’s 2021 and I’ve never understood why discrimination is a thing. Black, Asian, Muslim, LGBTQ+, etc. We are all human.”

Randall, 65, told The Courier Journal in an email he has “moral objections to homosexual marriage.”

“I have filed and do file for homosexuals who are single, as I do not ask about sexual preference prior to filing a return,” Randall said, adding “this is legal, as I have already researched this.”

In the same building as his tax service, Randall also runs and serves as a broker for The Insurance Store, which is “The Place To Go When You’re Told No,” according to its website.

Radcliff and Hardin County are not among the 21 municipalities and counties in Kentucky that have passed Fairness Ordinances outlawing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer residents.

In 1999, Louisville and Lexington became the first two cities in the state to each pass a Fairness Ordinance extending LGBTQ protections.

Crescent Springs, a city in Northern Kentucky’s Kenton County, became the latest municipality to pass a Fairness Ordinance in March, per the Fairness Campaign, a Louisville-based LGBTQ advocacy group.

Repeated attempts to pass a statewide “fairness bill” have failed in the Kentucky General Assembly, which currently features a Republican supermajority.

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, said while last year’s Bostock v. Clayton County ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court protects gay and transgender employees from discrimination, Kentucky’s civil rights statute does not ban sex discrimination for public accommodations.

The only exception outlawing sex discrimination under state law is for businesses “supported directly or indirectly by government funds.”

That means Randall and Aries Tax Service legally can deny services to gay couples such as Amy and Stephanie Mudd, according to Hartman.

Roughly 144,000 residents who are 13 years of age and older are part of the LGBTQ community in Kentucky, and LGBTQ adults make up roughly 3.4% of the state’s population, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit think tank.

The incident in Radcliff is not the first of a tax prep business denying services to gay couples.

A tax preparer in Russiaville, Indiana, made local and national headlines in 2019 when she refused to help a married couple who was gay, citing her religious beliefs and recommending a different tax service business.

What every Kentuckian should know:From unemployment to new deadlines, here are recent tax changes

That decision was allowed under a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed in 2015, though lawmakers had amended the legislation to try to assuage fears it would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ customers.

Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which took effect in 2013, says the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s freedom of religion” unless the state has “clear and compelling evidence” to step in and uses the “least restrictive means” to do so.

Hartman said in any case, Randall’s stated opposition to helping gay customers file their taxes is “rude.”

“It’s discriminatory. It’s disgraceful,” Hartman said. “And it’s a downright shame.”

As for Randall, an Army veteran who has been a tax preparer for 20 years and an insurance broker for 33 years, he said a woman “took exception to my policy a couple years ago.”

His response?

“This is where you find out that tolerance is a two-way street.”

This is the world the religious right wants, one where some people who are doing or engaged in a legal action can be denied service from a public business.   Substitute the words homoseual marriage in this story with mixed race marriage and do you still feel the same about it?   If you can say no homosexuals allowed then you can say no blacks allowed.    If this guy refused to do the taxes of a black couple, would everyone still be OK with it.    This is 2021, same sex marriage has been legal around the world for 20 years.   This is what religious freedom has become, not the right to worship a deity of your choice, but to have the right to discriminate against those who are different from you.   I am so tired of this fight.   Yet we must keep fighting because it is a growing cancer on our country.   Hugs

 

 

7 thoughts on “Kentucky tax preparer says couples welcome, but ‘homosexual marriage not recognized’

  • Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
    The Council for National Policy.

    “The Council for National Policy is one of the oldest & most effective organizations in the history of the conservative movement.” Vice President Mike Pence

    The Council for National Policy (CNP) is an umbrella organization and networking group for conservative and Republican activists in the United States. It was launched in 1981 during the Reagan administration by Tim LaHaye and other right-wing conservative Christians, to “bring more focus and force to conservative advocacy.”

    These are the people we can thank for the Christian’s “Laws of God’ being forced into our constitutional laws. They are aided and abetted by The Supreme Court Justices. You know, those people whose religious bent is not to be considered when they are up for lifetime appointments.

    People who think they have more freedoms under religious laws are so poorly informed. Those people who observe Muslims, especially the radical ISIS movement, who seek to have a worldwide Islamic State with Sharia law, are unable to recognize that their own Christian nationalists seek the same.

    When we have a government religion and a religion in charge of the state, we have two systems that are wholly corrupted. Neither is functional. Neither can be viable. People who continue to support this kind of government may think that their particular prejudices are being served do not understand that this Judeo-Christian-Conservative always needs a whipping boy, and their turn will soon come.

    Religions are detrimental to the progress of humanity. It is institutionalized hatred. The next worst thing is politicians who care only for their personal wants. I don’t intend to be so negative toward religion, especially Christianity, but there are things going on in our society that prove their guilt.

    Christianity drove me away from religion, and I grudgingly thank them.

    I know. All this doesn’t help at all. The only thing that will help is for the public to see where their church is taking them.

    Do you know that during the reign of Henry VIII, the church revenue was as large as the governments? Because the church had managed to put laws in place which made the monarchy support the church, and that allowed them to tax the people.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Cagjr. Thank you for the information. I had read somewhere that Ireland ( I think or maybe it was the UK ) you have to pick a religion got get a portion of your taxes. Even if you were not religious the religion still got some tax money from you. I hate that idea. At this point I think we can realistically only fight the spread of the disease of religion from corrupting the entire body of the nation until the super religious SCOTUS is diluted or dies off. To challenge the putting religious privileges into law has been lost at this point. Hugs

      Like

  • Your closing comments very well describe the situation. When bigots reduce society to their idea of ‘right’ it does not mean they are satisfied. They must always have some ‘other’ to suffer their ignorance and hate. I understand you and other people who are subjected to this particular hatred are far and away more aware of it than the rest of us can fully understand.

    I’ve just started reading Andrew Seidel’s ‘The Founding Myth’ about the efforts and successes of the Christian nationalists rewriting American history and their effort to replace constitutional law with god law and to claim our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. It was not. But all those things in your comment are the result of Christians trying to control society. Hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Cagjr. I have listened to him on podcast often, I like his points. Let me know what you think of his book, I have yet to read it. Something I have learned over the years is no minority can over come the oppression of the majority with out allies and help from those of that same majority. I welcome any ally in the fight for equality of all people under the laws. Thanks. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m just in the first few chapters but if you listen to his podcasts then you have a good idea of the book. He has put together a lot of research that is well documented. The major part of the book is aimed at the Christian nationalist’s efforts to rewrite our history to give the appearance that we were founded as a Christian nation. Christians make all these false declarations and then try to use that false history to push for legislation supporting the theocratic agenda.

        It is unlikely that their sheep will ever examine what they are being taught from the pulpits. I doubt they read the constitution beyond the second amendment so I am convinced they will never read the papers of the founding fathers, the history of the colonies leading up to the revolution, nor the history of Europe before 1600.

        “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”
        Richard Dawkins

        That is exactly what religion does. The priest, the preacher, the pastor, nor the evangelist can stand up against any honest inquiry. Their ideal pew warmer says nothing more than amen.

        “It is setting a high value upon our opinions to roast men and women alive on account of them.”
        —Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), French essayist and philosopher, cited in “2000 Years of Disbelief” by James R. Haught
        Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor
        © Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

        Does anyone think this could ever happen again? Why? Why not?
        When did the church quit killing heretics?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.