Thursday, 8 September 2011

Court Defends Gay Workers from Arizona Gov’s Attempt to Strip Benefits

 "A bill signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tried to take away the family benefits that predecessor Janet Napolitano provided, via executive order, for the families of the state’s gay and lesbian employees.

But a decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction against the bill, ruling that to target one group for the loss of benefits enjoyed by everyone else is a violation of equal protections set out in the U.S. Constitution.

Brewer signed a bill to strip benefits from same-sex families two years ago, in September of 2009. Napolitano had provided those benefits via executive order the year before. The bill also sought to deprive straight domestic partners of benefits, as well as grown offspring, reported local newspaper the Arizona Republic in a Sept. 6 article.

"When a state chooses to provide such benefits, it may not do so in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner that adversely affects particular groups that may be unpopular," the unanimous verdict, issued by a panel of three judges, said."

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