GOP legislator’s anti-LGBQT hate tax

Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton (the gunman in the photo below; read his bio here), a former preacher-man, is a hater.

He was elected by country hicks in northeast Texas (details here and here). The product of a Baptist bible college, he wants the state to kill doctors who perform abortions, and women who get them (see story here).

Slaton, a Republican (of course), has introduced a bill in the Texas legislature to dole out property tax relief based on his religious beliefs.

Only married couples with children would get the tax cut, because the ex-Baptist preacher-man wants heterosexual couples to ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.’” People who’ve been divorced, and above all LGBQT people, would be excluded (read story here).

In a normal world, with a normal Supreme Court, this discriminatory legislation (if it passes) would be struck down as violative on equal protection and separation of church and state principles. But this isn’t a normal country, and we don’t have a normal high court, anymore.

We’ve never really had equal protection in this country. The Founding Fathers who wrote that principle into the Constitution owned slaves. To reconcile that inconsistency, they didn’t acknowledge black people were human, too. For a big chunk of our history, women weren’t equal either; they couldn’t inherit, own property, or vote. They, too, were treated as other-than-human chattels.

So the “equal protection” principle has always been something of a chimera. Under segregation, “separate but equal” was anything but equal. In nearly all of our nation’s wars, heroism was acknowledged differently depending on a soldier’s skin color (see, e.g., story here).

Realistically, we’ve got to recognize that in our country the equal-rights ideal has always been far more aspirational than realized; but we ought, at least, try to realize it in our courts when fulfilling their constitutional checks-and-balances role of reining in legislatures.

You can’t separate Slaton’s personal bigotry and hatreds from his party’s all-out assault on LGBQT people. In recent years, LGBQT have pushed to come out of the closet and be accepted as full citizens with equal rights, and most of American society has accepted them.

Conservatives have reacted with fury, and are trying to push them back into the closet with a variety of hate-inspired laws: “Don’t say gay,” criminalizing drag shows, and now hate taxes. This idea probably will prove popular among conservatives, and likely will be emulated in other GOP-controlled legislatures. And I wouldn’t trust the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutional principles it violates.

That means, generally speaking, that only voters stand between our vulnerable citizens and the new tide of bigotry and hate sweeping across our nation. You know what to do. Vote in every election. Familiarize with the candidates and ballot issues, and know who and what you’re voting for. And vote for a country “with liberty and justice for all.”

Photo: Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton

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