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Dismembering Families

CHALLENGING GENDER INEQUALITY IN TAX POLICY MAKING: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES, Kim Brooks, Åsa Gunnarsson, Lisa Philipps and Maria Wersigeds, Hart Publishing, 2011

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-11

16 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2009 Last revised: 18 Jun 2011

Anthony C. Infanti

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: April 7, 2009

Abstract

In this paper, I explore how the deduction for extraordinary medical expenses, codified in I.R.C. section 213, furthers domination in American society. On its face, section 213 probably does not seem a likely candidate for being tagged as furthering domination. After all, this provision aims to alleviate extraordinary financial burdens on taxpayers who already suffer from significant medical problems -- and who, by definition, lack the help of insurance to relieve those burdens. But, as laudable as this goal might be, careful attention to the text and context of section 213 reveals that it does not apply to all taxpayers equally. In fact, section 213 draws sharp distinctions between different types of families. Looking at this provision from the perspective of those who require the help of assisted reproductive technology to form a family, I explain how section 213 furthers the hegemony of the so-called traditional family and concomitantly contributes to the subordination of lesbian and gay families as well as many other nontraditional American families.

Keywords: lesbian, gay, sexual orientation, family, medical expense, assisted reproductive technology, domination, subordination

Suggested Citation

Infanti, Anthony C., Dismembering Families (April 7, 2009). CHALLENGING GENDER INEQUALITY IN TAX POLICY MAKING: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES, Kim Brooks, Åsa Gunnarsson, Lisa Philipps and Maria Wersigeds, Hart Publishing, 2011; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1374492

Anthony C. Infanti (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-1244 (Phone)
412-648-2648 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.pitt.edu/people/anthony-c-infanti

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