Court Blocks Arizona's Move to Revoke Health Coverage

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April 3, 2012

Arizona state employees can rest easy: Family coverage for their same-sex partners will remain in place until a court issues a final decision in Lambda Legal's case.

Arizona state officials had asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing by the full court of an earlier ruling that maintained health coverage for the plaintiffs and their families. Today the Court denied the state's request.

Lambda Legal represents nine lesbian and gay state employees who are challenging a move by the Arizona Legislature to eliminate the equal health care coverage that they rely on to safeguard their families’ health.

The health plan was put in place in 2008 by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano. State lawmakers subsequently eliminated health coverage for domestic partners of state employees while retaining spousal benefits for heterosexual workers, as part of a budget deal signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2009.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara Borelli says:

The Ninth Circuit once again preserved vital family health coverage for Arizona’s lesbian and gay state employees despite State officials’ increasingly desperate attempts to strip the coverage away. We’re confident that idea will continue to prevail as the case advances.

Read more about the case.