Lambda Legal Sues Arizona To Block Elimination of Domestic Partner Benefits.

Jim Burroway

November 17th, 2009

During last year’s battle to place a ban on same-sex marriage into Arizona’s constitution, proponents for Proposition 102 argued that their efforts had nothing to do with Domestic Partner Benefits. Nope. Not one bit. Except that the ink was barely dry on the election results when the same lawmakers who put the proposition on the ballot turned right around and moved to strip domestic partner benefits from gay and lesbian state employees.

Today, Lambda Legal has announced a lawsuit in Federal Court in Tucson on behalf of ten state employees seeking to block the elimination of DP benefits. According to a press release from Lambda Legal (no link yet):

“This is an issue of equal pay for equal work,” said Tara Borelli, staff attorney for Lambda Legal. “By stripping away these vital benefits from loyal state employees, the state isn’t just paying them less for the same work than their heterosexual colleagues — it’s pulling away a vital lifeline that all workers need. This is simply cruel and saves the state next to nothing.”

…”This discriminatory elimination of vital health benefits denies equal pay for equal work to a small, politically vulnerable group of dedicated public workers who perform valuable services and pay equal taxes. By stripping gay and lesbian state employees of health coverage for a domestic partner, the new law unfairly and unconstitutionally inflicts severe hardship upon a targeted group of Arizona families,” added Borelli.

Ben in Oakland

November 17th, 2009

i like this. Equal protection before the law.

now, if they can start talking about animus, and making that a part of their legal strategy, we might start getting somewhere.

Timothy Kincaid

November 17th, 2009

This discriminatory elimination of vital health benefits denies equal pay for equal work to a small, politically vulnerable group of dedicated public workers who perform valuable services and pay equal taxes.

Actually, that is inaccurate. Gay employees with vital health benefits pay more taxes than their co-workers. The federal government taxes gay employees on the heath coverage for their partners but does not tax heterosexual employees for the exact same benefits.


November 17th, 2009

I’m glad they’re on top of this. Hold those bastards back into keeping their word, and call more attention to the fact that “separate but equal” will always be abused to not mean equal in reality.


November 17th, 2009

Arizona replaced Napolitano with a real sh*thead, didn’t they?

Chris McCoy

November 18th, 2009

As a 15 year AZ resident, We knew they would do exactly this when the proposition was put on the ballot.

They did the same thing in Wisconsin when that state passed a similar measure which refused to acknowledge any relationship as similar to marriage.

The writing was on the wall. They just had to wait untill gay-friendly Janet Napolitano left office to get the ball rolling.


November 18th, 2009

Good. The advocates of the domestic partner benefits for state workers have analyzed this many times and have clearly pointed out that the cost to the state of providing these benefits is miniscule. As an Arizonan, I hope they end up spending 10 times as much on legal fees and court costs defending this idiotic piece of stealth legislation by the Christaliban Republicans as it would have cost them to just leave it alone. Then these Republicans can go before the voters and try to explain why they increased the state budget deficit.


November 20th, 2009

Bruno wrote:

Arizona replaced Napolitano with a real sh*thead, didn’t they?

Actually, Gov. Jan Brewer became Gov. of Arizona when Obama named Napolitano secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Prior to that Gov. Brewer was the Secretary of State, which was an elected position.

Unfortunately, the SOS takes over as Governor should something happen to the existing Gov.

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