Arizona Governor Takes Away State Domestic Partner Benefits
Says 'God Has Placed Me in This Powerful Position'
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has eliminated state domestic partner benefits a year after they were implemented, the Arizona Daily Star reports:
"A bill signed by Gov. Jan Brewer redefined a 'dependent,' canceling the rule change made by Gov. Janet Napolitano that allowed domestic partners to receive benefits. Also eliminated are children of domestic partners, full-time students ages 23-24 and disabled adult dependents. The legislation is in legal review. About 800 state employees are affected, according to the state's administration department...Liz Sawyer, a UA staff member, said the exclusion is 'deplorable and it's tragic.' Sawyer is a spokeswoman for OUTReach, a staff group that lobbies for domestic-partner benefits at UA. Last year 170 UA employees signed up for domestic-partner benefits, she said. Forty were same-sex couples and the remainder were unmarried, opposite-sex couples, she said."
"Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she believes 'God has placed me in this powerful position as Arizona's governor' to help the state weather its troubles. In a wide-ranging speech on the role of religion in politics and in her life, Brewer detailed to a group of pastors of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church how she relies on her faith and in prayer to deal with many of the issues she faces as the state's chief executive. Brewer also said there are times when, during a meeting with staffers, one will suggest praying about an issue. ... But Brewer also said she recognizes the difference between bringing her faith to the office and having an 'agenda.' ... 'The problem with having a political agenda is that we give the impression that we have God's truth,' the governor said. 'We think we can convert God's truth into a political platform, a set of political issues, and that there is 'God's way' in our politics,' Brewer continued. 'I don't believe that for a moment, any more than you believe that God's way is exclusively the Lutheran way.' The governor said, though, she believes it is right — if not inevitable — that elected officials bring their faith to their offices."