campus life

Univ. of Arizona’s Simple But Brilliant Return of Health Insurance to Gay Domestic Partners

Even though Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last year removed health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners at state universities (a year after they were implemented), the University of Arizona has found a work around to keep the coverage coming.

Arizona’s new law that redefines “dependents” (to eliminate gay partners) takes effect Oct. 1. That’s the same day UoA’s new rules do, too, the Arizona Daily Star reports:

The University of Arizona is now offering special medical-, dental- and vision-insurance plans for employees with domestic partners. The plans don’t use any state money but have similar premiums. The new state law, which changes partner benefits by redefining the word “dependent,” was signed in September 2009 and will take effect on Oct. 1. The new UA plans will kick in on that day, too. A dependent will then be a “spouse under the laws of this state,” which excludes unmarried domestic partners. The UA wanted to cover both gay and heterosexual relationships, because “in order for us to be competitive, to be able to attract talented people, we need to be able to offer benefits that other employers are offering,” said Allison Vaillancourt, UA vice president for human resources.

Small fixes worth celebrating for a state where “ethnic studies” are banned and looking like an illegal immigrant gets you pulled over.

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  • TommyOC

    While on the surface this is good, let’s key in on one word in the above quote:


    “Similar” doesn’t equate to “the same.”

  • Jon


    Yeah, but at least they are trying. It’s the best they can do while a bigot is in office.

  • damon459

    @TommyOC: What else can the university do? it’s not like the can override that women and I use the term loosely as well and override the legislature. The University is as least doing something to keep those family’s affected insured. Plus this is AZ we are talking about look at the nuts they have running the show it makes me think either the voters are complete morons or only the morons do the voting. I’m from small town Montana and the only thing I can think of is the desert dried out these people’s brains.

  • eagledancer

    As an American Indian living in Arizona, let me assure you not everyone is nuts here, although I’d certainly say most of the republican elected officials are. While I’m feel about walking outside where law enforcement officers can see me much the way a single woman does walking out to her car alone late at night in a dark parking lot–you know you’re gonna get attacked–it’s just a matter of time–I’m proud to hear today better minded locals are getting the signatures on a petition that will stop implementation of the bill and remove the power of the legislature to try to reinstate it. I was also chuckling today where the governer and her gaggle wrote into the revision of the anti-immigration bill that she could choose someone other than the state attorney general to defend it in court. This is because the AG is much more progressive and is also running for governor–and has been openly against it. His response is that the revision is unconstitutional, since it interfers with his elective powers as AG. Fun to watch them trip over themselves in their attempt to screw things over :)

  • Sam

    I just want to point out that Jan Brewer was NOT elected Governor… she ascended when Janet Napolitano – who was elected – was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security. I’m fairly certain that the voters of Arizona will fix this whole Brewer problem at their first opportunity.

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