Anti-gay Republican congressman votes against coronavirus support bill because it ‘redefines family’

Republican votes against coronavirus bill because it 'redefines family'

Anti-LGBT+ Republican congressman Andy Biggs has bragged about voting against the bipartisan coronavirus support bill because it gives benefits to domestic partners.

The bill, which includes fiscal support for families and the economy due to coronavirus, cleared an initial vote in the US House of Representatives on Saturday by a vote of 363-40.

All 40 of those who voted against the bill were Republicans who objected to some of the measures – and one, Arizona lawmaker Andy Biggs, had a particularly disguising reason for doing so.

Anti-gay Republican complains coronavirus bill will ‘redefine family’.

Biggs, who has ties to the anti-LGBT+ Family Research Council, said he refused to support the bill because it would “redefine family”.

He told FRC: “They’ve redefined family for the first time in a federal, a piece of federal legislation, to include committed relationships.

“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. They’ve tried to, they’ve put in my opinion an amorphous definition, and then they expand on that.”

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., spoke to a homophobic lobbying group about his reasons for voting against the bill

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., spoke to a homophobic lobbying group about his reasons for voting against the bill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The family measures in the bill do include references to “committed relationships”, with children eligible for care including “biological, foster, or adopted child, a stepchild, a child of a domestic partner” – which would include children of same-sex partners.

However, as The Intercept points out, that language is nothing new – and has been included in federal bills around sick leave since 2015.

Andy Biggs used to work for a homophobic hate group.

The lawmaker is no stranger to outrageous views, in 2015 branding same-sex marriage “an affront to the millions of Americans who believe marriage is between a man and a woman”.

Biggs previously worked at a listed anti-LGBT+ hate group, serving as policy adviser to United Families International – which has described gay rights as a “second civil war”.

The group conflates homosexuality with paedophilia and insists it is “more compassionate to discourage homosexuality than to tolerate it”.

United Families International also maintains: “It is not discriminatory to deny homosexuals the right to marry. Homosexuals are afforded exactly the same right as heterosexuals; they can marry one person of the opposite sex.

“No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, or a person who is already married. Regardless of whether those restrictions may disappoint the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamists and homosexuals, the issue is not discrimination.”