Same-Sex Couples to Get Benefits

An Arizona appeals court ruled Tuesday that the state must provide health insurance for same-sex couples who work for the government, overthrowing a 2009 law that had stripped those rights. In the 13-page opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the law violated the constitutional right to equal protection. Tuesday’s victory was the latest twist in a three-year saga to give benefits to same-sex partners of state employees: in 2008, then-governor Janet Napolitano granted the benefits to those individuals through an executive order, only to have it overturned the following year by Gov. Jan Brewer in a round of drastic cuts to balance the budget. Matt Benson, a spokesman for Brewer, said Tuesday’s ruling “flies in the face of logic and the law,” while gay-rights advocates applauded the decision.