RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Republican State Representative Bryan Slaton from East Texas proposed House Bill 2889 in late February that provides property tax cuts to married couples with four or more children.
However, only those in a marriage between a man and a woman would qualify, excluding same-sex married couples with children from receiving these tax cuts.
Jessica Cabrera, LGBTQ advocate and pastor from Weslaco, told ValleyCentral about the bill, “It’s disheartening. It saddens me the fact that even in today’s society, we’re still not being recognized. We still have to fight for our rights. We still have to fight for the rights that any heterosexual couple has.”
She said LGBTQ marriages and families, like her own, are just as real as any other family.
“We have the same issues as any other married couple, we have the same struggles, the same love, the same commitment,” she adds.
Slaton, who is a former pastor and calls himself a brave Christian conservative, said of his bill, “Texas will start saying to couples, ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.'”
Under the legislation, married couples with four children, including those they adopt, would receive a 40 percent tax cut.
If they have 10 or more children, they would pay no taxes.
Maria Ines Becerra from Brownsville has been married to her wife, Claudia, for over seven years.
She feels the bill is simply discrimination.
While LGBTQ families said they are not surprised by the introduction of such proposals, they believe in their community and allies for support.
Cabrera adds, “To be able to say that we’re not a real family, how would you know? Come and spend time with us; get to know us, and you’ll see that we’re very much like a regular family.”