Equality Revoked: Lambda Legal asks a court to restore domestic-partner benefits for state employees

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July 6, 2010


"The last time the state of Arizona seemed even remotely forward-thinking was in the fall of 2008, when then-Gov. Janet Napolitano approved benefits for all domestic partners of state employees.

"...Just a few months later, Napolitano left Arizona for Washington, D.C., to serve as President Obama's secretary of homeland security. And in September 2009, the Republican-dominated state Legislature passed a bill that excluded domestic partners and their children as dependents. Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill, and benefits are supposed to officially end on Oct. 1, 2010.

"In response, Lambda Legal, a national LGBT legal and advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit against the state in the U.S. District Court. On Monday, June 28, Lambda's lead attorney in the lawsuit, Tara Borelli, headed to Phoenix for the first hearing in the case, Collins v. Brewer.

"...'There have been other cases, but not one quite like this. In the past, other employees have sued to obtain benefits. Here is a case where the state provided the benefits, then took them away,' Borelli said."

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