Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A ray of hope in Arizona

Last September, Arizona's governor Jan Brewer decided that because of the state budget crisis, domestic partner benefits would be rescinded for GLBT citizens. Arizona claimed it didn't matter because people could buy insurance on the private market (for $$$$$, of course....)

Lambda Legal sued and has won a preliminary injunction.Writes the judge,
[T]he 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.

Lambda Legal goes on,
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."
Emphasis mine.

The case continues.

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