A heinous step toward intolerance

Editorial Board

This legislative session, Texas has become ground zero for more anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies, joining the nationwide push against LGBTQ+ rights by the Republican Party. While state-level Republicans have tried to draw eyes toward their more flashy and controversial bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community, they are also working behind the scenes to ensure the systematic oppression of the community. 

House Bill 2889, proposed by East Texas Representative Bryan Slaton (R), would ensure that “qualifying couples,” which the bill defines as couples involving “a man and a woman who are legally married to each other, neither of whom have ever been divorced,” would be eligible for massive property tax cuts. The tax relief would be dependent on the number of children the couples have, per the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

The amount of property tax reductions a qualifying family may receive directly corresponds to the number of children they have. Families with four children would qualify for a 40% reduction in property taxes. Families with 10 or more children would qualify to pay no property taxes.

Although this relief may benefit some working families with the need for increased household income due to the number of children they have, it is inherently discriminatory that sexual orientation and marital status are determinants to qualify for these reductions. While the burden felt by property taxes is high statewide because Texas has one of the “highest effective property tax rates in the nation,” per the North Texas Property Tax Service, all couples feel that pressure across the board, not just the heteronormative couples of Texas.

This clear and brazen attempt by the Texas Legislature to systematically oppress LGBTQ+ parents and couples who do not conform to traditional marital standards is heinous and absurd. Texas should be taking steps toward acceptance and expanding rights for the LGBTQ+ community, not stepping toward intolerance. We cannot let this oppressive bill become law, and we must demand its end. Discrimination of any kind has no place in Texas.

You can find the contact information for your local representative’s office at https://house.texas.gov/members/ and https://senate.texas.gov/members.php.