Arizona Governor Asks Supreme Court To Strip Same-Sex Domestic Partner Benefits

When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) assumed power in 2009, she quickly advanced a law that would have stripped same-sex couples of their state domestic partner benefits. Lambda Legal fought back in a case now known as Diaz v. Brewer and won in both federal district court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the law discriminated against same-sex couples who could not otherwise obtain the benefits through marriage.

Now, Brewer is asking the Supreme Court to step in and reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Tara Borelli of Lambda Legal is confident that the injunction against the law taking effect will stand:

BORELLI: We are confident that the lower courts’ decisions upholding domestic partner coverage for lesbian and gay employees will continue to carry the day. Arizona’s arguments have been turned down again and again by the federal courts, and we expect it will be no different here.

The argument against Brewer’s law strongly parallels the case against California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage, which the Supreme Court will also have an opportunity to hear this coming year. In both cases, the law in question attempted to strip away a right that was already in effect for same-sex couples. The Court could, however, rule that both are unconstitutional for that reason without mandating that either Arizona’s benefits or California’s marriages are fundamental rights that gays and lesbians deserve access to.