Texas Republicans want to give tax cuts to straight couples who breed – and zilch for queer couples

Bryan Slaton talking during a Twitter video.

A proposed bill in Texas would give straight couples extra property-tax relief depending on the number of children they have.

HB 2889 was proposed by Republican lawmaker Bryan Slaton, who said the bill was “incentivising” what he called a healthy family unit.

Married straight couples living in Texas with four “qualifying” children would be given a 40 per cent property tax cut, rising by 10 per cent for each additional child.

The final level – 10 or more “qualifying” children – would see a 100 per cent cut, nullifying the tax altogether.

But if you’re a same-sex couple, or divorced, you’re out of luck.

“I come from East Texas. We have biblical values where we want people to get married, stay married, be fruitful and multiply,” Slaton told Fox7.

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“We need to incentivise more children. Yes, I am worried a little bit about our birth rate.”

UN projections postulate that, while birth rates are slowly declining in the US, the dip in fertility has plateaued in the past few years.

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While research suggests this is due to economic factors, it’s also worth noting that the change in birth rates is minuscule compared with the past decade, and is consistent with the rest of the world.

The population is decreasing in the United States, but evidence reported by The Atlantic shows this is likely to be due to immigration demands and excess deaths, many of which were caused by COVID-19.

When asked why he removed divorcees and same-sex couples from the list of qualifying couples, Slaton said it was down to what he believes a functioning family looks like.

“The bottom line, what we see is children do better when they have their mother and their father in the same home with them,” he said.

Opponents question Texas lawmaker Bryan Slaton’s motive for the bill

Opponents of the bill accused the Republican sponsor of not only promoting homophobia, but also of attempting to push legislation that is “Handmaid’s Tale s**t.”

Equality Texas chief executive, Ricardo Martinez, said he was disappointed by the bill, but not surprised.

“There comes a point when anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+ animus becomes kind of a full-blown creepy obsession,” he told Fox7. “I’m concerned about the stigma that it continues to perpetuate.

“It leads to increased bullying, harassment [and] violence.”

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As well as suggesting incentives for “nuclear-family” households, while excluding LGBTQ+ couples, Slaton also advocates for the “Texit” movement.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, various predominantly right-wing pundits have suggested that Texas could secede from the United States, a move dubbed Texit.

On his website, Slaton linked to a petition that asks people to “let the Texas State Legislature know that you support Texit”.

He filed a bill on Monday (6 March) that, if passed, would initiate a referendum on whether the Lone Star State should break away from the union, not unlike seven southern states – including Texas – did in the lead up to the American Civil War in 1861.

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