Judge blocks anti-gay Arizona law

Arizona is best know these days for its immigrant bashing ways. But, immigrants aren’t the only targets of Arizona’s elected officials. Gays are too. But, a judge in Arizona blocked implementation of anti-gay legislation, which was signed by the notorious Jan Brewer:

The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in September, amended the definition of “dependent” under state law to mean either a child or “a spouse under the laws of this state.” That change prevented the partners of gay and lesbians, who are legally unable to marry, from receiving benefits.

The state argued that all unmarried couples were treated equally under HB 2013, which created a new part, known as Section O, of existing law.

But in his ruling, Sedwick disagreed.

“Because employees involved in same-sex partnerships do not have the same right to marry as their heterosexual counterparts, Section O has the effect of completely barring lesbians and gays from receiving family benefits,” Sedwick wrote. “Consequently, the spousal limitation in Section O burdens state employees with same-sex domestic partners more than state employees with opposite-sex domestic partners.”

At Netroots Nation, I caught up with Arizona State Representative Kirsten Sinema. She’s openly bisexual and pretty much one of the coolest elected officials I’ve ever met. I asked her about Brewer:

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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