- Samantha and Bailey Brazzel recently went to Carter Tax Service in Indiana to file their taxes.
- But Nancy Fivecoate, the owner of the business, turned them away because the women are married to each other.
- Samantha told INSIDER that Bailey has used the service for herself for the last four years. In the past, Fivecoate had no issue with Bailey and Samantha dating.
- However, when the women filed as a married couple, Fivecoate said their relationship went against her beliefs.
- Fivecoate stands by her actions.
When Samantha and Bailey Brazzel set out to file their taxes last week, they anticipated it would be business as usual.
The women set out to Carter Tax Services, but when they tried to file their taxes as a married couple they were turned away, Samantha told INSIDER.
Nancy Fivecoate, who owns the business, said that she could not file their taxes because same-sex marriage goes against her religious beliefs, the IndyStar reported.
“It was not something that we expected,” Samantha said.
In fact, the women were shocked. Bailey had filed her taxes with the Indiana business for the last four years, Samantha said. The previous year, Bailey introduced Samantha to Fivecoat as her girlfriend and there was no issue.
Samantha said that Fivecoate took specific issue with the women’s marriage. “She said, ‘No I’m sorry I can’t do that it goes against my beliefs. I’m a Christian. I believe marriage is between one man, one woman. So she just said no I can’t do that,'” Samantha recounted.
Apparently, this is not the first time this has happened at Carter Tax Services. Fivecoate told the women that she has turned couples away before and that “she would file gay people’s taxes, but not if they were married,” Samantha said.
In the moments after being rejected, they were shocked. The women left and later got their taxes filed at an H&R Block. But they were left with an uneasy feeling.
“If our marriage is legal and just as valid as anybody else’s, how are we able to discriminated against like this?” said Samantha. “Why aren’t their laws forbidding this?”
Later, the women took to Facebook to share their story, hoping to warn other members of the LGBTQ community.
In a statement to the Kokomo Tribune, Fivecoate stood by her actions.
“I declined to prepare the taxes because of my religious beliefs,” Fivecoate said. “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 told the IndyStar that she believes that she, too, is being discriminated against because of her religious beliefs.
“The LGBT want respect for their beliefs, which I gave them. I did not say anything about their lifestyle,” she said. “That is their choice. It is not my choice. Where is their respect for my beliefs?”
The Brazzel’s story is not unique.
In Colorado, a Christian baker refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple, and the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Jack Phillips, the baker, refused to bake a cake for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins on the grounds of religion – and the court found that it was his right to do so.
In Indiana, in particular, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed in by then-governor Mike Pence. The law says that the government cannot interfere with a person’s religion unless it can prove a compelling reason to do so.Critics of the act said that this could lead to discrimination – especially against LGTBQ people by businesses.
“It was upsetting and shocking,” Samantha said of her and her wife’s recent experience. “You hear about things like that happening, but you never expect it to be you.”
- Read more:
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- A Catholic school canceled classes because it feared protests over a lesbian councilwoman’s speaking event
- Chris Pratt says he ‘believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want’ after Ellen Page called his church ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ’
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