HENDERSONVILLE, N.C., Jan. 30, 2006 -- Charles Merrill, a 71-year-old artist, and his partner Kevin Boyle, have announced they will not pay Federal or North Carolina Income Tax on over two million dollars worth of stock sales and income for 2004, because of unfair discrimination in the Federal and State Income Tax Codes.
Merrill said, "I have no intention of paying Federal and State Income taxes because my same sex partner and I cannot be legally married and receive the same tax benefits as other married couples.
"By not paying taxes, this is a deliberate act of civil disobedience towards a President that wants to make an amendment to the Constitution to only allow marriage between a man and woman, rather than two people who love each other, and that discriminate against us as full citizens of the United States."
Charles Merrill and Kevin Boyle are founders of a group called Citizens Against Discrimination. In 1996 the organized and protested an anti-gay resolution in Rutherford County, NC, which caught the attention of national media.
I've never been much of a protestor, so I really don't know from civil disobedience. But from my Quaker social studies classes, I had kind of gotten the impression that when you're protesting by civil disobedience, you're supposed to do something which costs you something; not something which makes you richer. And failing to pay taxes on $2 million of stock sales has got to add up to an extra--oh, I don't know, let's say $400,000, maybe more?--for Mssrs. Merrill and Boyle.
Maybe Ken Lay and Martha Stewart were just misunderstood protestors, too.