To anyone who challenges you on the rights of LGBT Americans, anyone who says that we are able to obtain the same legal, undeniable rights that straight couples have, rights which are PROTECTED by law, wave them over to this story. Until LGBT Americans are protected from discrimination on a FEDERAL level, these kinds of things will continue to happen, with or without the "law"…Chris Jarvis – Gay Fresno

Image(Phoenix, September 8, 2009) — Lambda Legal is profoundly concerned and disturbed by a move by Arizona lawmakers on Friday to strip health benefits from the domestic partners of state employees.

State legislators for months had taken aim at the equal benefits plan approved last year by former Governor Janet Napolitano, now Department of Homeland Security Secretary. On Friday, current Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a budget bill with the provision revoking the health insurance coverage for domestic partners.

The elimination of vital benefits for a small, politically vulnerable group of public workers emerged from a protracted and bruising battle over the state budget. The new law strips gay and lesbian state employees of the ability to obtain health benefits for an unmarried life partner. Because health coverage for an employee’s committed life partner can be a critical lifeline for family stability and financial security, this budget denies ‘equal pay for equal work’ and inflicts severe hardship upon a targeted group of Arizona families.

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