In 2008, then-Arizona governor Janet Napolitano extended all state and university employee benefits to their domestic partners. Then Republican Jan Brewer became AZ’s governor in 2009 and the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law specifically denying the benefits to unmarried partners of any gender.
Well the three-judge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled yesterday that the state cannot deny benefits to gay couples because they have no other way to receive those benefits in a state with a same-sex marriage ban.
While Brewer’s press aide says, “The court’s real motivation here is for the legalization of gay marriage,” offering domestic benefits will allow the state to court well-qualified gay employees who might otherwise not set foot in her racist state. She should be happy for at least that.
Image via Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com