Arizona appeals in court to stop paying insurance benefits to gay partners

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Attorneys for the state of Arizona will ask a federal appeals court for permission to cease providing insurance benefits to partners of gay employees.

The Assistant Attorney General Charles Grube argues that US District Judge John Sedwick was wrong was wrong to issue an injunction in 2010 barring the state from changing its benefits packages for domestic partners which have been given to gay domestic partners since 2008.

Politicians in Arizona had already voted to end the benefits as a cost cutting measure to both gay and straight unmarried domestic partners. As neither gay marriage nor civil unions are legal in Arizona, the impact of the decision falls more on gay couples than straight couples. The decision to cut the benefits is therefore discriminatory says campaigners.

Lawyer Tara Borelli, representing the workers who would lose the benefits says some of her clients have partners with chronic conditions that require immediate and ongoing care and are unable to get private coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions.