A Republican state legislator in Texas is proposing a bill that would incentivize home-buying, but only for heterosexual parents in the state who have never been divorced and who have four or more children.
The bill, authored by Rep. Bryan Slaton (R), would offer a 10 percent discount to parents on their local property taxes for every child they have. Caveats to his proposal, however, reveal that the bill is aimed at promoting far right, Christian nationalist values.
Slaton’s bill explicitly states that it only applies to couples composed of one man and one woman — and only if their children are born through narrowly-defined “natural” means.
Single parents would not be allowed to apply for the tax credit, and parents who have a child who was born before they got married would not be able to use that child to qualify for the benefits.
Parents with three or fewer children in their households would not qualify for the credit, and the bill forbids parents from applying if they have previously been divorced. Heterosexual couples who adopt a child after they are married can qualify for the tax reduction, but same-sex couples who do so cannot.
The bill would provide a 100 percent discount to married, heterosexual couples who have 10 or more children, as long as the children were born after the couple got married and neither member of the couple has ever been divorced.
Aside from being blatantly discriminatory, the bill has the potential to discourage people in abusive relationships from leaving their partners, as there could be significant financial consequences for doing so.
Slaton, a former minister who has authored several anti-LGBTQ bills during his time in the state legislature, has quoted passages from the Bible to promote the proposal. The bill “will start saying [to qualifying couples]: ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply,'” he said in a tweet.
Slaton has also said that the legislation is modeled after laws in Hungary and Poland that benefit large families. Notably, both of these countries are currently led by right-wing, Christian nationalist governments.
This isn’t the first time that Slaton has promoted Christian nationalist ideals. One of his former interns, for example, has previously called for the public execution of drag show attendees.
Critics of the bill have noted that it comes as Texas is severely restricting options for people experiencing unwanted pregnancies — in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections in Roe v. Wade last summer, the state has banned abortion in almost every circumstance.
“While this bill may seem like it’s just a friendly tax break for good, ‘all-American’ families, it’s actually yet another coordinated and thought-out attack on any type of family who doesn’t adhere to ‘right-wing’ values,” wrote Katie Garrity, a contributing writer to Scary Mommy, a parenting website.
Don’t miss your chance to give for #GivingTuesday!
Millions of people are supporting nonprofits like Truthout for #GivingTuesday. Will you join them?
As an independent newsroom, Truthout relies on reader donations to remain online. Your tax-deductible donation of any amount — even a few bucks! — helps make it possible for us to publish award-winning journalism that amplifies the voices of changemakers everywhere.