In Texas, where everything, according to the saying, is bigger, so is the level of discrimination the GOP-controlled Texas House is considering with legislation that would exclude LGBTQ+ people from receiving financial relief on their property taxes.
According to House Bill 2889, introduced by East Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Republican, “certain married couples” with four or more biological or adopted children in Texas could receive a homestead tax credit.
The bill provides tax relief to qualified couples based on how many children they have, with four children equaling a 40 percent property tax reduction, while couples with ten or more children would pay no property taxes.
Tax relief isn’t offered to all Texas families under the GOP-backed legislation, and only heterosexual couples qualify for it. Those who have divorced at least one partner are also ineligible. It excludes same-sex married couples with children from receiving these tax cuts because only a marriage between a man and a woman qualifies.
“Supporting Texas means supporting Texas families,” Slaton wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
“Families are the building blocks of society. We must support families by making it easier for them to have and raise kids,” he wrote. “With HB 2889, Texas will start saying: ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.'”
Last year, the gay organization of Republicans, The Log Cabin Republicans, was excluded from a Texas GOP convention. The Texas Republican party officially added to its platform a provision casting homosexuality as an “abnormal lifestyle choice.”
Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow warns that LGBTQ+ rights are in danger.
“Extremist politicians across the United States are actively engaged in a large-scale attack on the LGBTQ+ community. They are attempting to put LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender and non-binary people, back in the closet and labeled as dangerous, Warbelow tells The Advocate.
“Now, opponents of equality are turning their attention to even settled, court-protected rights, like marriage equality, with even Justice Thomas proposing that we should relitigate Obergefell. These efforts to roll back our rights are already backfiring, as evidenced by the growing backlash to new anti-transgender laws passed in recent days in Tennessee, and we will continue to fight them every step of the way,” she says
Slaton has stood staunchly against LGBTQ+ matters. Last summer, he set to ban kids from attending any performance involving drag queens. This month, Slaton also introduced a bill to classify gender-affirming health care for trans youth as child abuse under state law.
“Drag shows are no place for a child. I would never take my children to a drag show…,” he wrote on Twitter then.