Jan Brewer’s Anti-Gay Benefits Crusade Leads To Resignation

JanBrewerbenefitsArizona Gov. Jan Brewer has stirred the pot once again by asking the Supreme Court to hear a discrimination case involving benefits for state employees' same-sex partners.

Former Gov. Janet Napolitano had previously signed an executive order allowing benefits for state and university workers, but Brewer, a Tea Party conservative, reversed that decision.

Two federal courts have said that withholding benefits violates the Constitution, so Brewer thinks the Supreme Court should get involved, as if it doesn't have enough potential gay cases on its plate.

Besides, Lambda Legal says it's too soon for SCOTUS to consider the matter.

Tara Borelli is a staff attorney with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which filed the lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of gay employees.

She said it is inappropriate for the high court to consider overturning the injunction because the underlying case has not yet gone to trial. Borelli pointed out that the state has not yet introduced evidence about the cost-savings associated with eliminating benefits to same-sex partners, even though "that has been one of their primary justifications."

"This case is about equal pay for equal work," she said. "And we now have multiple judges who have looked at the case and have said Arizona simply has no good reason to deny important compensation for state workers that others can take for granted. We think this is about a desire to treat lesbian and gay state workers unequally."

Democratic State Rep. Matt Heinz, who is openly gay, blasted Brewer's decision last week, saying, "Since (Senate Bill) 1070 largely failed, Governor Jan Brewer decided to shift her efforts to legalize bigotry from one population to another." He's not the only state official who took umbrage with Brewer's overreach.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that Edwin Leslie, a hotelier who Brewer appointed to a state tourism board, stepped down in protest. "Your actions … are in direct conflict with your reiteration that all Americans are entitled to the same 'inalienable rights,'" he wrote in his resignation letter. He also said that her actions will hurt Arizona's tourism industry.

"The state of Arizona derives considerable revenues from tourism and considerable revenues from the LGBT community members that visit our great state," wrote Leslie, who is openly gay. "The tourism industry is critical to the state's economy. I urge you to put aside the politics."

He went on: "It is my hope that one day the state of Arizona leads the nation in extending benefits to LGBT families, allowing same sex marriage and adoption, and show that everyone is welcome in Arizona."

Brewer's office said it is "regrettable" Leslie "has opted to politicize his [resignation] in this manner." They also said Brewer's quest isn't about discrimination, but about reining in power Napalitano let run wild.

"[This] is about the authority of Arizona's duly elected officials to make budget decisions for this state," said the governor's spokesman.

Comments

  1. redball says

    misleading headline! I THOUGHT BREWER HAD RESIGNED and my joy was uncontainable.

    but then i read the story :( :( :(

  2. kit says

    He’s right about the tourism — I love the southwest, but would never step foot in AZ while that bigot is in charge…

  3. Rev. Verdon Coleman says

    “Brewer’s office said it is “regrettable” Leslie “has opted to politicize his [resignation] in this manner.” They also said Brewer’s quest isn’t about discrimination, but about reining in power Napalitano let run wild.”

    Wench, YOU LIE!

  4. jason says

    Looks like snappy Jan has bitten off more than she can chew. She’s been exposed as a hypocrite who thinks some Americans deserve more rights than others, a position which flies in the face of her previous much- vaunted concern for the welfare of all Americans.

    Memo to Jan: we in the gay community are persistent, and we take no prisoners. You ain’t winning this one, sweetie.

  5. Danny in the East Village says

    All she has done is (once again) expose her ignorance of (or indifference to) Constitutional law.

    One more remark, which I’ve made here before:

    “Lipstick on a pig.”

  6. Danny in the East Village says

    Brewer has the breeding of a barnyard animal–and it showed long before her embarrassingly inappropriate gesture of waving her finger in the face of the President of the United States. She hasn’t even enough sense to realize how gross a gesture that was. What a tramp.

  7. says

    “It is my hope that one day the state of Arizona leads the nation in extending benefits to LGBT families, allowing same sex marriage and adoption, and show that everyone is welcome in Arizona.”

    Sorry: Arizona can’t lead in gay rights when several states, including my own, have already crossed the finish line. Arizona hasn’t left the starting block.

    And Arizona’s not likely to lead if it keeps electing Republicans, especially of the wacko tea-party variety.

  8. Jack M says

    When is this hag’s term as governor over? I can’t wait to see her voted out of office.

  9. patrick says

    Suddenly there’s just not enough money to pay for the healthcare of a handful of state employees’ spouses? Good to see her priorities are focused on the major fiscal problems facing Arizona.

  10. john patrick says

    This isn’t about discrimination, this is about blah, blah, blah….
    Now where have we heard this kind of rationalization for discrimination before?

  11. Kip says

    Come on, misleading headline and poorly written teaser. Are you that desperate for clicks?

  12. says

    First they came for the illegals and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t illegal.
    Then they came for the Unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t in a Union.
    Then they came for the homosexuals and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a homosexual.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  13. says

    First they came for the illegals and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t illegal.
    Then they came for the Unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t in a Union.
    Then they came for the homosexuals and I didn’t speak out because I’m not a homosexual.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  14. Bingo says

    One detail: Brewer didn’t reverse Napolitano on this. The new state budget included lots of cuts, including an end to benefits for domestic partners, both same-sex and different sex.

    Still good PR, but a weak case on the law. Really designed to show how little the financial impact on the state is compared to the financial impact on the state employees.

  15. Dukecityjim says

    I live in New Mexico and used to visit Arizona at least 4-5 times a year to take weekend trips, go shopping (we don’t have the choices available as they do in Phoenix) as well as visit place like the Grand Canyon etc.

    I haven’t set foot in Arizona since she started with her insanity and have no plans to go back until she is gone.

  16. NorthoftheBorder says

    can we have a concious boycott of the state of Arizona and all of its products?

  17. CVP says

    Anyone who points a finger at our President should take very said finger and shove it up her cooter.

  18. AZEXPAT says

    Brewer is a c*nt the size of the Grand Canyon. They do donkey tours of her daily.

  19. says

    @BINGO: in a state that does not have marriage equality, same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners are apples and oranges.

  20. tropicbill says

    I used to love visiting Arizona. But in the recent past I have cancelled two planned trips to state. Money that would have supported high-end hotels, fine restaurants, transport, shopping, bars, and entertainment went to another state. I’m not spending a dime in such a hateful place.

  21. RICK says

    Listen, editors, you need to discuss these awfully written headlines with your writers. There’s something misleading nearly every single day. Get with it.

  22. Heh says

    She looks like the Crypt Keeper. Doesn’t Arizona law require that elected officials be live citizens, not walking, desert-dessicated corpses covered in Walmart makeup?

  23. Range P. Shaw says

    Andy: Thank you for continuing to share our plight here in the state of AZ. Many continue to to exist in this state of hate for many reasons, family etc. So having you through your contacts here and your past with Arizona, helps us know that there are those that love and support us through this hell. The names Gov Brewer, Joe Arpaio and John McCain, need I say more, challenge our existence.
    We at the same time have our bright spots… Senator Ed Pastor, Greg Stanton (newly elected Phoenix city mayor) are generous supporters of the GLBT community and of course Gabby Gifford. Never stop supporting us through your social networking. Thanks

  24. says

    Former Gov. Janet Napolitano had previously signed an executive order allowing benefits for state and university workers, but Brewer, a Tea Party conservative, reversed that decision.

  25. says

    @BINGO: in a state that does not have marriage equality, same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners are apples and oranges.

  26. says

    Former Gov. Janet Napolitano had previously signed an executive order allowing benefits for state and university workers, but Brewer, a Tea Party conservative, reversed that decision.