9th Circuit Blocks Arizona Law Seeking to Limit Same-Sex Partner Benefits

A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit blocks an Arizona law that limited same-sex partner benefits for public employees. The law, instituted as a cost-saving measure, also eliminated health care benefits of heterosexual domestic partners and adult children.

The court overturned the law based on the rational that “[w]hen a state chooses to provide such benefits, it may not do so in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner that adversely affects particular groups that may be unpopular.”  Indeed, while the state is not obligated to provide health-care benefits, it cannot deny them to specific groups of employees.

Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Governor Jan Brewer, claims that “[w]hen  you read the ruling, the court’s real motivation seems to be the legalization of gay marriage.”

For more information: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/09/07/9th-circuit-blocks-arizona-law-limiting-same-sex-partner-benefits/?mod=WSJBlog

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