A newlywed same-sex couple in Russiaville, Indiana, were turned away by a tax preparer due to her Christian religious beliefs.
Samantha Brazzel told ABC News that her wife, Bailey Brazzel, had employed Nancy Fivecoate, owner of Carter Tax Service, to file her taxes for the past four years.
"I had gone with Bailey last year and she introduced me as her girlfriend and nothing was said, so we didn’t anticipate any problems," Brazzel explained.
This year was different.
On Feb. 12, Bailey and Samantha went to file their first joint tax return with Fivecoate after having been married in July of 2018.
Once Fivecoate realized they were filing jointly this year as a married couple, she denied Brazzel service due to her Christian religious beliefs.
"We were both pretty stunned," Brazzel said. "Nancy said we weren’t the first couple she’s turned away, because she believes marriage is between a man and a woman."
Fivecoate has since issued a statement to ABC affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis, saying, "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."
The Brazzels have since filed their taxes elsewhere. In many parts of Indiana, including Russiaville, there are no laws prohibiting businesses from refusing to deal with a same-sex couple, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Fivecoate said in her statement that she has had many gay clients throughout the years, but when it comes time for them to file a joint tax return, she respectfully declines.
"The LGBT want respect for their beliefs, which I give them," Fivecoate said in her statement. "I did not say anything about their lifestyle.” “That is their choice. It is not my choice. Where is their respect for my beliefs?" she asked.
Bailey and Samantha Brazzel said that they would really like to see new laws in place to protect same-sex couples.
“We shouldn’t be able to be turned away or kicked out of places just because of who we’re married too,” Samantha Brazzel said.