Today's Date: April 19, 2021
Honda Ridgeline Claims Class Win at San Felipe 250   •   FIBRA Prologis Acquires 95,852 Square Feet of Logistics Space inside Mexico City   •   Metropolitan Launches Multilingual Classes on Planting, Care of California Friendly® Landscaping   •   COC and CPC applaud the Government of Canada for important investment in sport   •   A New PSA Initiative Helps People 55+ With Low Vision Get the Help They Need to Thrive   •   Your Outdoor Oasis Is One Afternoon Project Away: OLYMPIC Stains by PPG Selects Light Oak as Its First-Ever 2021 Stain Color of   •   Emmy Award-Winning Journalist Adrienne Bankert Joins NewsNation as Anchor/Correspondent   •   Susan G. Komen Launches Campaign to Honor Special Moments with Mom   •   Precision Medicine Company adyn Raises $2.5M Seed Funding for Personalized Birth Control   •   Despite Pandemic, Workers Are More Willing To Relocate Than Ever   •   Perfect Corp.’s 2021 Global Beauty Trends Report Spotlights Top Skincare Trends Around the World   •   Introducing a Ground-Breaking, New Institute at the Boys Town National Research Hospital   •   Canadian Budget 2021: A Métis Woman's Perspective   •   Galvanize to Award $1.8M in Scholarships to Foster Inclusivity and Equity in Technology Workforce   •   Post Consumer Brands Joins Forces with Our Military Kids to Provide 30 Grants to Military Children across the United States   •   BlackNorth Initiative Calls on All Governments to Take a Compassionate and Collaborative Approach to Management of COVID-19    •   Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A.: US$ 400 million raised to finance SMEs   •   Inflammasome Therapeutics’ Kamuvudines May Be Answer to Preventing Blindness in Aging Population   •   Talkshoplive To Celebrate Asian Entrepreneurs And Raise Funds For "Stop AAPI Hate" Through #ShopAsian Week Beginning April 19th   •   Design By Intent® is Pleased to Expand its Line of ADA Compliant European Designed and Manufactured Shower Safety Seats and
Bookmark and Share

Judge Blocks Elimination Of Gay Partner Benefits

PHOENIX, AZ - U.S. District Court Judge John W.
Sedwick today granted Lambda Legal's request for a preliminary injunction
blocking the elimination of domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian
Arizona State employees. The judge also substantially denied a motion to
dismiss the case by State's Attorney Charles Grube, ordering that the case
proceed on the merits.

Lambda Legal represents ten state employees – including from the Arizona
Highway Patrol, the State Department of Game and Fish, and state
universities – who rely on health benefits from their employers to
safeguard their families' health, as heterosexual workers do.

Sedwick's ruling rejects claims by the state that the elimination of
benefits will not harm the families of gay and lesbian employees because
they may still be able to obtain insurance privately, through Medicaid or
via the employers of the non-public employee partner. "Even assuming that
is true," Sedwick writes, citing a 9th Circuit Court ruling in Lambda
Legal's ongoing case In re Golinski, "the Ninth Circuit has recognized
there is 'an inherent inequality' in allowing some employees to participate
fully in the State's health plan, while expecting other employees to rely
on other sources, such as private insurance or Medicaid. 'This back of
the bus' treatment relegates plaintiffs to a second-class status by
imposing inferior workplace treatment on them, inflicting serious
constitutional and dignitary harms that after-the-fact damages cannot
adequately address."

"This injunction removes the sword that's been hanging over the heads of
hundreds of state workers and their families," said Tara Borelli, the
Lambda Legal staff attorney who argued the case on June 28th. "We're
pleased Judge Sedwick has recognized that this is a matter of equal pay for
equal work, and that eliminating benefits for Arizona's gay and lesbian
state employees would hurt real families."

Sedwick also rejected the State's claims that maintaining the same benefits
for gay employees that their heterosexual co-workers will continue to
receive would endanger other state services: "The State's argument, which
is not supported by any evidence, is speculative at best and discriminatory
at worst. Contrary to the State's suggestion, it is not equitable to lay
the burden of the State's budgetary shortfall on homosexual employees, any
more than on any other distinct class, such as employees with green eyes or
red hair."

Arizona lawmakers included a provision eliminating domestic partner health
benefits for gay state employees as part of a last-minute budget deal
signed by Governor Jan Brewer last September, while retaining spousal
health benefits for heterosexual workers. Today's injunction barring
enforcement of the insurance cut-off will take effect in ten days. The
State can appeal the ruling immediately to the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals, or proceed to defend the discriminatory budget provision on the
merits in the District Court.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara Borelli argued the case, with Jennifer C.
Pizer of Lambda Legal, and Daniel C. Barr, Rhonda L. Barnes and Kirstin T.
Eidenbach of the law firm of Perkins, Coie, Brown & Bain P.A. as
co-counsel. The case is Collins v. Brewer.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full
recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals,
transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education
and public policy work.

Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News