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AZ Legislature Moves To Strip Domestic Partner Benefits

Jim Burroway

June 6th, 2009

Here’s a story that goes to show that marriage opponents will lie, cheat and steal to have their way.

Last summer, Arizona lawmakers broke Senate rules in order to place an anti-marriage amendment on the 2008 ballot. At the time, they said that Prop 102 would not endanger domestic partnerships, and that all they wanted to do was “define marriage” in the state constitution. Marriage opponents went on to make this a key centerpiece on their Prop 102 campaign, that they had no interest in denying anyone’s domestic partnership benefits.

Well now we know that was yet another bold-faced lie:

State lawmakers are moving to strip the domestic partners of state and university employees of the health insurance coverage they gained just a year ago.

A provision in the state budget would legally define “dependents” of state employees who are entitled to coverage as a spouse or a child younger than 19 — or younger than 23 if a full-time student. Changing the law would override regulations adopted last year that added domestic partners and their children to the list.

The state Department of Administration says about 750 workers who have signed up for the benefits would be affected.

The measure passed the House last night and is now on the governor’s desk. Gov. Jan Brewer (R), who became governor when Janet Napolitano (D) became Homeland Security secretary for the Obama administration, was on record in 2006 for opposing domestic partner benefits for state employees.

Equality Arizona is urging state residents to call Governor\’s office (602-542-4331 or toll free at 1-800-253-0883) or email the Governor here.



June 6th, 2009 | LINK

I live here in AZ and I’m not all surprised. They used cheap tactics to get prop 102 on the ballot to begin with… see attached website.

June 6th, 2009 | LINK

Hmm, I wonder if this might be a way for states like Nevada and others that offer DP benefits to “go behind the back” of the law by claiming that they’re “doing it to save money”

If so, that would seem to be another argument for nothing BUT full marriage equality.

Christopher Waldrop
June 6th, 2009 | LINK

In a way this decision, along with the lunacy of Prop 8, can be a very good argument in favor of finally granting federally recognized full marital benefits to same-sex couples. As of now same-sex couples exist in a perpetual state of limbo. If they gain benefits they only have those benefits until the next election, or until the next special election, or until the state legislature decides to strip them of those benefits. By allowing existing same-sex couples to remain married while denying any new couples from marrying the California Supreme Court declared some couples’ unions to be more valid than others–which is the whole problem in the first place.

And in Arizona I can’t see that same-sex couples have any legal recourse because they’re not allowed to marry.

Jason D
June 7th, 2009 | LINK

this is another reason why the “compromise” of civil unions/DP isn’t really a compromise.

It’s been made clear in this, and other cases, that the goal is to shut us out completely. So the only way is full-marriage, as anything else is just too tenuous.

Patrick M
June 7th, 2009 | LINK

Us gays will believe most anything someone tells us, we’re compasoniate, caring, loving, thoughtful. This article just goes to show we can’t trust the claims of those who would deny rights for us. Compromise is and should never be an option. Full MARRIAGE rights is the only way to go. Besides it keeps the process simple. No new laws need to be written, discussed, or voted on. Repeal DOMA Accept nothing less than FULL MARRIAGE RIGHTS for all.

June 7th, 2009 | LINK

Bravo, Patrick M, My thoughts exactly!

June 7th, 2009 | LINK

This is exactly what happened in Michigan in 2004 when the marriage amendment was put on the ballot — the same claim that DPs would be unaffected, the same rush to eliminate DP benefits once the amendment was in effect (it happened so fast the ink didn’t have time to dry). One gets mighty tired of the ease at which Commandment #9 is violated.

June 7th, 2009 | LINK

I sent Pamela Gorman, one of the main supporters of this bill in the Legislature, a nicely worded email asking her if why she was interested in removing insurance benefits for children. I doubt she will respond. Republicans never like to be called on their hate.

June 8th, 2009 | LINK

Boycott Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, etc. Boycott Arizona. If you have a group meeting or event booked – cancel it and let them know why you did.

June 9th, 2009 | LINK

maybe we need to show the legislature how many of us there are if maybe 10thousand plus gathered at the capitol to let them know we will not forget this 2010 is our chance to remove these folks from office if we have the will together with our straight allies we can do this

June 9th, 2009 | LINK

For what it’s worth, I contacted my State Senator (R) and both Representatives (R) and the Governor’s office (R) and let them know that I am opposed to stripping these 750 state employees of their domestic partner health benefits, which would only save the state about $5 million dollars. How petty.

With every passing day, the New England area is looking more and more friendly.

Would I trade searingly hot summers and mild winters for mild summers (in comparison to Phoenix) and freezing winters? If it means equality under the law?

You betcha!

February 17th, 2012 | LINK

I’m no expert, but it seems to me that this is another Romer case. I am very impatient for any of the various Civil Rights for Sexual Minorities cases to make it’s way to the Supreme Court.

My heart breaks for all of you who live your lives without full Equality to every other citizen. Even those states that have Civil Marriage for Sexual Minorities, our Federal Government does not recognize it. We all just have to keep on fighting the good fight.

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