Saturday, June 06, 2009

AZ Legislature Moves To Strip Domestic Partner Benefits

I am so angry right now, I cannot think straight. So I'll let Jim at Box Turtle Bulletin give you the details of the latest idiocy going on in the backward state of Arizona since I feel like I am going to be sick:

Here’s a story that goes to show that marriage opponents will lie, cheat and steal to have their way.

Last summer, Arizona lawmakers broke Senate rules in order to place an anti-marriage amendment on the 2008 ballot. At the time, they said that Prop 102 would not endanger domestic partnerships, and that all they wanted to do was “define marriage” in the state constitution. Marriage opponents went on to make this a key centerpiece on their Prop 102 campaign, that they had no interest in denying anyone’s domestic partnership benefits.

Well now we know that was yet another bold-faced lie:

State lawmakers are moving to strip the domestic partners of state and university employees of the health insurance coverage they gained just a year ago.

A provision in the state budget would legally define “dependents” of state employees who are entitled to coverage as a spouse or a child younger than 19 — or younger than 23 if a full-time student. Changing the law would override regulations adopted last year that added domestic partners and their children to the list.

The state Department of Administration says about 750 workers who have signed up for the benefits would be affected.

The measure passed the House last night and is now on the governor’s desk. Gov. Jan Brewer (R), who became governor when Janet Napolitano (D) became Homeland Security secretary for the Obama administration, was on record in 2006 for opposing domestic partner benefits for state employees.

Equality Arizona is urging state residents to call Governor’s office (602-... or toll free at 1-800...) or email the Governor here.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a native Arizonan, but as far as I am concerned, it's nothing I want to brag about. Right now, I can feel nothing but shame. No wonder my three children, all of whom graduated in the top 5% of their high school classes, hoofed it out of this backward state as fast as they could. Why would they stay? They had merit scholarships giving them almost free rides to private universities in more progressive states that value people on their abilities and not whom they choose to love. Why the hell would anyone stay here when one's potential contribution to this state is completely irrelevant if the person they love doesn't meet the standards set by the neanderthals in our state legislature?

There is nothing left here for my husband and me. Our kids are gone. Any pride we had in this state is gone. I suppose we are not long for this place either. But until we can get out of here, I am going to fight on. Hopeless as it feels right now.

If you are an Arizona resident, please call and give our governor an earful (Jim lists the numbers above). Who knows, maybe our new governor has enough sense to see that this legislation is nothing more than hate and homophobia. And Arizona is the loser.



Dan said...

I am so, so sorry. I hoofed it out of Missouri (where my own wonderful parents live) for reasons just like your children's. (Missouri was the first to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Go, home state!)

I just found your blog, and want to thank you for your anger, your passion, and your determination.

Anonymous said...

Nice Post