Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said on Tuesday that he voted against the coronavirus stimulus bill in part because the legislation included paid sick leave benefits for domestic partnerships.
“They’ve redefined family for the first time in a federal — in a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships,” Biggs said Monday on a radio program produced by the conservative Christian group Family Research Council. “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,” he added, according to The Intercept.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which passed on Friday evening in the House of Representatives, provides expanded coverage for Covid-19 diagnostic tests; broadened unemployment and food stamp benefits; and included provisions to provide tax credits to cover two weeks of limited paid sick leave and up to three months of family and medical leave payments to care for those affected by the novel coronavirus.
As noted by The INtercepet, “the provision that raised Biggs’s ire, which references ‘committed relationships,’ is a subsection of the paid sick leave provision of the bill. It defined children eligible for care under the proposed law as a “biological, foster, or adopted child, a stepchild, a child of a domestic partner.”
The bill went on to further define a domestic partner as two individuals in a “committed relationship,” at least 18 years of age, in which each individual acts as the other’s sole domestic partner with shared responsibility for each others’ common welfare, including couples in same-sex domestic partnerships or same-sex unions.
Listen to Biggs’ remarks in the audio file below:
Biggs is a Christian conservative who previously served as the Arizona state Senate president, a role which he used to usher in legislation for business owners to assert religious belief in order to refuse service to LGBT people and others.