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Throw Me a Bone


A new tax deduction proposed by Michigan representative Thaddeus McCotter called the HAPPY Act (the acronym stands for "Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years") would allow pet-owning taxpayers a deduction of up to $3,500 per year for the care of their animal companions, reports NPR.

On DoggyTV, a YouTube channel, McCotter reasoned, "We've had reports of people having to turn in pets because of the economic recession... And when you think about the relationship between people and pets and the humane way that it helps people think, it seemed to me to be a good idea."

Response from NPR's poll yielded mixed results, from "Hell, yeah" to "Are you kidding?" But the response from LGBT taxpayers might be more positive than that of the general public. A 2007 study of 250,000 gay men and lesbians concluded that 61% of gay men and 83% of lesbians have at least one pet -- significantly higher than the 50% national average of pet-owning citizens.

Does McCotter's humane-ity extend to all pet owners? Given his record on LGBT civil rights issues (HRC gives his gay rights voting record a paltry 25% rating; he voted against employment discrimination protections for gays, in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, and in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage), he might see an uptick in support from a pet-owning base he hadn't counted on. Then again, on discovering that LGBT pet-owning birds of a feather would disproportionately benefit from his proposal, McCotter may let his pet project fade silently away.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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