Today's Date: September 30, 2023
Moose Toys' Wins and WOWs at 2023 Toy of the Year® Awards   •   CORRECTING and REPLACING EverGen Infrastructure Announces 10-Year Organic Waste Processing Agreement with the City of Regin   •   Tim Hortons Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign returns TODAY until Oct. 1 with 100% of proceeds donated to Indigenous organizations   •   Department of Energy Funds New Center at Argonne for Decarbonization of Steelmaking: Reimagining the Steel Production Process   •   Can a roof’s material cool the outside air and lower energy demand? An Argonne study says it can.   •   Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Names New Chief of Adolescent Medicine   •   Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County Appoints Keenon Krick as Chief Executive Officer   •   Brighthouse Financial Releases 2022 Corporate Sustainability Report   •   Skillsoft Completes Reverse Stock Split   •   Message from the Governor General on the occasion of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation   •   BLK. WATER BECOMES OFFICIAL SPONSOR FOR IN THE BLACK NETWORK'S NEW TALK SHOW, CROWNED   •   Inclusive Hiring Now and in the Future   •   CGTN America & CGTN UN: China committed to boosting high-quality development of girls' and women's education   •   Greenberg Traurig's Chinh H. Pham Named to Boston Business Journal's Prestigious 2023 Power 50: Movement Makers List   •   'Each of these students has earned this awesome accolade.' BASIS Celebrates Class of 2024 National Merit® Scholarship Progra   •   Metropolitan Issues Statement on Passing of Senator Dianne Feinstein   •   P&G Alumni Global Conference 2023: Meeting the Moment as a Force for Growth and Good   •   Evolus Reports Inducement Grants Under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)   •   Oragenics Enters into Agreement with Lantern Bioworks for Replacement-Therapy Assets   •   University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies’ Scholars Present at 2023 International Leadership Association 25th Glob
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
Breaking News
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