In the face of a world pandemic, a US conservative Republican decided to vote no on a bill in response to the coronavirus because it had a provision for domestic partnerships The Hill reports.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provided a raft of measures such as the provision of free coronavirus testing for the uninsured, strengthen social welfare programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps for people who are losing work due to the pandemic, and give two weeks of paid sick leave and family and medical leave so that people can take care of themselves and those close to them.
Proving conservatives are happy to put ideology before lives, Andy Biggs a Republican from Arizona, couldn’t look past the sick leave component. He went on the ultra-conservative Family Research Council’s (FRC) radio program to explain he voted no because it “redefined family”.
“They’ve redefined family for the first time in… in a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships,” Biggs complained on FRC’s program. “The problem with that is it’s really hard to define a committed relationship, and it’s really hard to define anything related to that.”
Biggs made the connection because the bill definition for a person’s child includes; biological, adopted, and foster children, stepchildren, and “a child of a domestic partner.” According to US law a “domestic partner” is someone in a committed relationship with an individual and they “share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s common welfare.”
FFCRA specifies same-sex relationships are domestic partnerships.
Biggs went on to say that sick leave for domestic partner’s children has “nothing to do with the Coronavirus,” not explaining how the bill should have handled the reality of people who are responsible for their significant other’s children even if they aren’t married.
He wasn’t alone with 40 Republicans voting no on the bill that passed the House on 14 March.
Biggs was elected to the US House in 2016 and has a history of supporting hate groups. He was a policy advisor to United Families International, which has said that people should “discourage homosexuality” and that “paedophilia is widespread among the homosexual community.”
In 2014 while Arizona Senate president, Biggs supported a bill that would allow business owners the right to refuse service to LGBTIQ people for religious reasons.