Equality Arizona

Action Alert: Tell Governor Brewer that you do not support her attack on domestic partner benefits!

Arizona politics are in the national spotlight once again following Governor Jan Brewer’s request that the Supreme Court overturn the U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that prevented Arizona from denying health benefits to same-sex partners of state employees.

In September, the Ninth Circuit ruled unanimously that while the state is not obligated to provide health care benefits for state employees, denying benefits to a specific group violates the Constitution’s equal-protection provision and adversely affects gay and lesbian employees.

Under the guise of “states’ rights” and “cost-savings” the governor continues her crusade to legalize discrimination against members of the LGBT community. Local progressive leaders, including Mayor Greg Stanton and State Representative Matt Heinz, have issued statements emphasizing the importance of offering domestic partner benefits.

In response to the governor’s appeal, Edwin Leslie, a member of the Arizona Tourism Advisory Council, has resigned from his position. In a two-page letter to the governor, Mr. Leslie noted that the governor’s action not only violates the rights of LGBT employees, but that these discriminatory policies are bad for business in Arizona. Equality Arizona salutes the courage and leadership demonstrated by Mr. Leslie with his decision to step down from the council.

The governor’s action last week further exhibits the administration’s unwillingness to put people before politics. In this time of economic crisis, Arizona should be striving to recruit and retain the best employees possible, individuals who can bring energy and creative solutions to our state’s problems. Rather, the governor chooses to further alienate a segment of the population with bad policies that will adversely affect our ability to offer competitive benefits and a welcoming environment for all prospective employees. Domestic partner benefits are not only a valuable tool for recruitment and retention; these benefits ensure that employees in committed domestic partnerships receive equal pay for equal work.

Without a doubt, Arizona is in for more embarrassment and expense should the governor’s appeal move forward. Please take a moment to call or email the governor’s office today and tell her that you do not support this discriminatory action.

Phoenix Office: (602) 542-4331
Tucson Office: (520) 628-6580
Fax Number: (602) 542-1381
In-State Toll Free: 1-800-253-0883

The Equality Arizona Advocacy Fund strives to participate in strategic efforts to defeat extremist anti-LGBT officials at all levels of government. If you would like to help us elect candidates that support the passage and enforcement of LGBT-inclusive laws,please consider making a donation of $25, $50 or $100 today.