No more friends with benefits with benefits!

Arizona: Cutting Domestic Partner Benefits Can’t Be Anti-Gay Because We Hate Straight Unmarrieds Too

Dogs & cats! Living together! Panic in the streets!When South Carolina defunds services for rape victims, Florida closes its only TB hospital during a TB epidemic, and Pennsylvania says voter suppression is happy news, either Arizona or Texas has to be next in the rotation. No idea what madness Texas will pull today, but Arizona is appealing to the US Supreme Court to pretty please let it eliminate insurance benefits for domestic partners of state and university employees (especially the gay ones).

Now, don’t you go thinking that this is an attempt to discriminate against The Gays, insists Attorney General Tom Horne, because the legislature simply wants to protect traditional marriage by denying benefits to anyone who is not married, including sinful straight people who are trying to avoid buying a cow because they are getting the milk for free. The policy simply

“furthers the state’s interest in promoting marriage.” The petition also says the move eliminates the expenses and administrative burdens in providing health-care benefits to the partners.

Anyway, Horne said, there is no evidence the state intended to discriminate against gays. He said the law treats all unmarried employees the same way, regardless of sexual orientation.

Horne then reportedly turned and gave an exaggerated, theatrical wink to an imaginary camera.

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But wait just a damn minute here — how was it that Arizona even had “domestic partner” benefits in the first place? This is Arizona, after all! Turns out that this was a policy enacted in 2008 by the state’s previous, sane governor:

at the direction of then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, the Department of Administration rewrote its rules to define who is a “dependent” to include someone living with the employee for at least a year and expected to continue living with that person. That rule contained no reference to the gender of the partner.

The rule also requires a showing of financial interdependence as well as an affidavit by the employee affirming that there is a domestic partnership.

Napolitano also had a habit of vetoing some of the more batshit insane bills passed by Arizona’s Republican-dominated legislature, so once she accepted the appointment to be Secretary of Homeland Security, the Legislature, helped by new crazy-eyed Gov. Jan Brewer, started spewing out insane bills like an uncorked colostomy bag.

One of those legislative squirts was a budget provision eliminating insurance for domestic partners. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund sued on behalf of gay state employees and their partners, leading the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the provision last year. (Unless we’re badly misreading the Arizona Daily Star story, coverage for those nominally “equal” straight domestic partners simply expired in 2010, since the Lambda suit only addressed gay employees and their partners).

Headless Torso Jan Brewer, of course, sees it as absolutely vital for Arizona to stop state workers’ illicit fuckbuddies from sucking at the government teat all the time:

“I was faced with the hugest budget deficit Arizona ever faced,” she said. “So when we were trying to come together to get our budget balanced, that was one area where we could go in and address…It wasn’t just against just a certain segment of domestic partners,” she said. “We took it away from all domestic partners.”

Brewer’s voice then took on a noticeably metallic tone as she repeatedly intoned, “Roger-Roger. Not discriminating. Homosex does not compute.”

So now, in order to get benefits for their unmarried partners, Arizona employees will just have to get married, except that, oops, maybe that only applies to a certain portion of those employees, huh? Last year’s desicion by 9th Circuit Court Judge Mary Schroeder suggests that she sees through the state’s clever ruse, the party pooper: “some objectives, such as a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group, are not legitimate state interests.”

Even if Arizona is completely sincere that it is not trying to discriminate against The Gay, a straightforward crackdown on all non-married couples is kind of, you know, ominous. In 2006, Dan Savage pretty much nailed it:

The GOP’s message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no life-saving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. You’re going to have those babies, ladies, and you’re going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen. And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that’s too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.

…Wake up and smell the freaking Holy War, breeders! The religious right hates heterosexuality just as much as it hates homosexuality.

The next thing to watch out for: Back in 2001, Arizona actually repealed its laws against adultery, sodomy, oral sex, and “open and notorious cohabitation,” a reform that was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by a Republican governor. Don’t be too surprised if the current Arizona Legislature takes up a bill to correct that mistake, too.

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About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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143 comments

  1. ttommyunger

    I was definitely young at the right time. There was still a lot of interest in the naughty bits, but for all the right reasons.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      The golden years, between the advent of the sexual revolution and the advent of HIV.

      1. SorosBot

        But that was the 70s – the old-timers around back then also had to deal with bad music, horribly ugly fashions, mustaches, and everyone was all hairy and gross.

        1. FakaktaSouth

          But super skinny from all the coke and disco-ing!
          EVERYONE was all hairy though, I've seen the pictures. ew ew ew.

          1. SorosBot

            I guess being high on coke constantly doesn't leave any time or thought for proper grooming.

          2. FakaktaSouth

            Which is sad, because, I can't believe no one ever said, look! A Razor! Right there! In your coke! Give it a try y'all!

          3. tessiee

            "EVERYONE was all hairy though, I've seen the pictures"

            It was the style at the time, like onions on your belt.

        2. eggsacklywright

          Some of my finest memories. 70's girls were so yummy. A little fur never hurt anyone. And yes, I'm a geezerly 65.

        3. thatsitfortheother1

          I think I have, for the first time in my life, been referred to as an old-timer.

          Well lemme tell you whippersnappers something…

          1. SorosBot

            Well if you not only can actually remember a time before HIV was around, but were old enough to be sexually active at the time, you'd have to be at least close to 50.

          2. Veritas78

            I'm 55, and my heyday lasted about 18 months — talk about a cock-tease.

            Then everyone I knew died, the end. Now I haz a sad.

  2. el_donaldo

    Open and notorious cohabitation? When they legalized that, were they all like, "This is a B.I.G. fucking deal"?

    1. tessiee

      "Jan Brewer is still married to Satan, right?"

      Which is ironic, because Ann Coulter is Satan, so Jan Brewer being married to her is almost like being married to a girl, so it's kinda "lezzie".

  3. Preferred Customer

    Hugest? The governor of one of these United States really said "hugest?" I mean, I know it's Arizona, and I know it's Jan Brewer, but COME ON.

    1. kissawookiee

      "most giantest" is the preferred construction in the Governor's Doublewide these days.

  4. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    How is it conservatives' babbies are all gifts from Jesus, while everyone else's babbies are from cold fuckin' / unprotected sex / promiscuity?

    1. tessiee

      All babbies are punishment for fucking; the conservatives just accept that as their rightful due.

  5. Goonemeritus

    “Wake up and smell the freaking Holy War, breeders! The religious right hates heterosexuality just as much as it hates homosexuality.”

    No its like neighbors you never want to single just one out as the one you hate the most but we all know you really hate one more than all the others.

    1. Chichikovovich

      But as targets of theocrat oppression have forgotten, century after century: the fact that there is some group they loathe most of all, and plot most incessantly to harass and harm, doesn't mean that they don't also really, really, really, really, really hate you too.

  6. MumbletyRadio

    roger-roger

    heh… except when you're rogering someone without matrimonial qualifications, huh.

    Let me guess — Buck Rogers' 25th Century's little robot accomplice, correct?

    1. Angry_Marmot

      I thought his name was "Twiki", and it was "Twinkie" all along. That explains why "Buck" was able to resist Princess Ardala.

    2. tessiee

      "Buck Rogers' 25th Century's little robot accomplice"

      Oh, I hope he says "Q-39 space modulator", I hope, I hope!

  7. didgen

    I see, Arizona's huge budget deficit can be fixed by taking away benefits to how many people? Please. This is too transparent to be called tissue. 2012, the year of the douchebag!

  8. Goonemeritus

    The wingnut decathlon of states is getting pretty competitive when Texas doesn’t even place.

    1. One_who_wanders

      They are at their best with last minute comebacks – they are particularly strong in the later events: Voter suppression and Immigrant stomping.

    2. tessiee

      I wouldn't count Texas out just yet; didn't Rick Perry just promise to personally punch everyone on Medicare or something?

  9. boobookitteh

    Hey! You know what would work and promote marriage? Letting same sex couples get legally married! Then they could have benefits and people would be getting married!

    Win-Win.

    1. OneYieldRegular

      You'd think this would be obvious. France didn't get it either, and so when they instituted the PACS (a form of domestic partnership intended to address the "gay marriage issue" and thus purposely made distinct from marriage), suddenly straight couples all over the country were opting for that instead of traditional marriage, leaving the church sputtering, "Bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-but…!"

      1. tessiee

        "a form of domestic partnership intended to address the "gay marriage issue" and thus purposely made distinct from marriage"

        With the separate water fountains and everything?

  10. SorosBot

    What, exactly, is "the state’s interest in promoting marriage"? It seems to me it's none of the state's fucking business if people are married, shacking up or whatever, and it's not its' proper job to promote one lifestyle over any others.

    And you know what would promote marriage? Allowing people to marry the person they love, even if they have the same type of genitals.

    1. ph7

      That's the problem here. The domestic partner rules exist only because gays can't get married. Allow gays to marry, and you can dispose of domestic partner rules (unless the citizenry decides they want to offer benefits to lovers and roommates, which is okay if they so decide, but does create some problems.)

    2. GunToting[Redacted]

      This particular issue makes that little Libertarian part of my skeleton vibrate with rage.

      1. tessiee

        I heard that libertarians have an extra bone in their ankles, and that's why they're so good at sports.

  11. elburritodeluxe

    Tax penalty for failure to have insurance = bad
    Denied insurance because you're not married = good!

    Freedom!

    1. tessiee

      If we followed that to Step 3, it would mean that gay and living and sin folks would have to pay more taxes, which is also somehow freedumbz.

      1. thatsitfortheother1

        This is how I imagine it notoriously:

        "After a while she started going around town without any
        clothes on, and the people of the town said that it was not a
        good thing, and when you started going around without any
        clothes, and when both of you began making love on the back
        of your horse in the middle of the zocalo, the people of the
        town became so afraid that they abandoned the town. It's
        been abandoned ever since. People won't live there."

        – Richard Brautigan

        1. tessiee

          I'm imagining "notoriously" as something involving more seamed fishnet stockings and a saloon with a honky tonk piano playing, but yours is good, too.

  12. SorosBot

    Really, I blame old Saint Paul, who created Christianity's pathological hatred of sex that is behind the conservative's war on sex and fucked up attempts to punish any of us who enjoy ourselves.

    1. Angry_Marmot

      Throw Augustine in there, too. Abandoned his live in girlfriend and their child because God needed another roommate. What an asshole.

  13. Chow Yun Flat

    “some objectives, such as a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group, are not legitimate state interests.”

    Another example of an activist judge legislating from the bench. If the state legislature can't mess with unpopular groups it takes the fun out getting elected.

    1. tessiee

      Bare desires to harm an unpopular group are the only kind of bare desires these people can admit to having.

  14. Terry

    “furthers the state’s interest in promoting marriage.”

    Well, so much for getting the government out of people's lives, huh?

    1. SorosBot

      Silly, the government's only supposed to stay out of 'people's' (mostly corporate people, not human people) lives when they're fucking over their employees, customers, and the environment; but it's perfectly OK for the government to tell us what we can do with our genitals. It goes together with how the only freedom that matters is the right to property, not the rest that are actually found in the Bill of Rights.

    2. UnholyMoses

      Sorosbot kinda beat me to it:

      For the GOP, only the rights of corporate people (and those "real people" who are on top of and humping the balance sheets of said corporate person, as if they were porn stars chock full of Viagra and ecstacy are at the top of said corporate people) count.

      The real people can all fuck off and die already and decrease the surplus population.

  15. johnetic

    Does Bristol still own her crack shack in AZ? If so, I guess her snowbilly boyfriend won't be able to live with her and suck off the Palin teet.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      That's some teeeeet. Zippo, or whatever that kid's name is, has stretch marks around his mouth.

  16. MumbletyRadio

    Of course I love how Brewer emphasizes the "biggest budget crisis" as if circumstance forced her into this gesture of doing something drastic, which emphasis she figures may allay her burden of culpability; while Horne can barely conceal his realization of a conserva-bigot's plump wet dream: It's not only the morally righteous thing to do but fiscally prudent, which no one can argue with surely!

    1. OneYieldRegular

      Arizona's fiscal crisis would be solved in a second if they'd just impose a tax on gun ownership, leathery skin, and hatred.

      1. emmelemm

        Or air conditioning. Or water.

        You live in the fucking desert, you pay the real cost of getting resources there.

        But now I'm just being an asshole. (It would reduce the fiscal crisis, though.)

  17. eggsacklywright

    All this pearl-clutching about sects seems queer to me. And that's the straight poop. No pussyfootin'.

    1. tessiee

      Really, I don't know why they have their balls in an uproar about this. You'd think they had their tit caught in a wringer or something. They're just trying to be dicktators about sex, but taint no big deal.

  18. Estproph

    "You’re going to have those babies, ladies, and you’re going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen."

    Really? Then explain Joe Walsh. I don't think the repubs are all that concerned about men paying child support.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      This is the glaring inconsistency in Savage's analysis. It's the whore's fault for seducing that fine, upstanding young man into betraying his better nature.

      Unless said young man is a non-white, of course.

      1. Estproph

        Yeah, I think he dropped the ball on that point, although the rest of the analysis is spot-on. What is clearly going on with the rightwing nutjobs is that they are trying to make sex a reward for white males, and a punishment for everyone else.

  19. Chow Yun Flat

    If all the hetero people who didn't get married because same sex marriage ruined it for them were gathered in one place, it would be an empty room.

  20. elviouslyqueer

    Um, this:

    the Department of Administration previously has stated that about 800 state employees are affected and that the cost to insure domestic partners is about $3 million of the $625 million the state spends on benefits

    Yes, Jan, I can certainly see how cutting out something that amounts to less than one-half a percentage point of your state benefits funding would make a huge goddamn difference in fixing Arizona's budget deficit.

    1. SorosBot

      As long as they don't raise taxes on the rich and get to screw over a hated minority, it's all good!

    2. tessiee

      I'm sure that 3 million will go to something useful like schools or senior centers, and totally not in someone's pocket.

  21. HarryButtle

    "Napolitano also had a habit of vetoing some of the more batshit insane bills passed by Arizona’s Republican-dominated legislature, so once she accepted the appointment to be Secretary of Homeland Security, the Legislature, helped by new crazy-eyed Gov. Jan Brewer, started spewing out insane bills like an uncorked colostomy bag."

    A more perfect description of current AZ politics cannot be penned. I can't believe how far we have fallen in just a few short years. We miss you, Janet!

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      Amen. I don't know how Janet got elected in this desiccated hellhole in the first place. Hell, even some of my conservative friends liked her for her support of the Castle Doctrine.

  22. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Anyone who hates sex as much as these people must be doing something wrong.

    1. Preferred Customer

      Right. I mean, these people seem to think about sex *almost* as much as I do. The difference is, I don't see that as a negative.

  23. Vecchiojohn

    Right after non-married partners were given benefits where I work my cat started acting like a dog. He talks all the time, is very friendly and likes to lick people. Coincidence?

  24. actor212

    I'm sorry? How does the *state* have a vested interest in married couples? Is there some official Arizona pornography fetish I'm not aware of?

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      Is there some official Arizona pornography fetish I'm not aware of?

      A raft of them, I'd guess. Or a rash.

  25. eggsacklywright

    This demonstrates the same logic as thinking that if you bomb someone with a drone strike, their neighbors will like you more.

  26. James Michael Curley

    Jan Brewer will rue this day when she is out of office and she has to go back to her job as a radiology technician and no one can afford to get those cancer x-rays for their domestic partner.

    1. tessiee

      "her job as a radiology technician"

      Did she keep aiming the X-ray thing backwards, and that's why she looks like Skeletor?

  27. DahBoner

    It's all about cutting your Biblical expenses.

    You see, according to the Bible, marriage is betwern one man and….

    ….up to 700 wives and 300 concubines.

    NOAH COULDN'T HAVE PREDICTED DOMESTIC PARTNER BENNIES

  28. barto

    Don't expect the adultery law to get reinstated any time soon, the crazies in the statehouse have to look out for their interests, after all.

  29. tessiee

    Wait…
    ARIZONA is going after the living in sin folks?
    What happened?, did all the brown folks leave the state or something?

  30. tessiee

    “furthers the state’s interest in promoting marriage.”

    You guys, watch what happens when I put my magic sunglasses over that sentence:

    MARRY AND REPRODUCE

    Cool, huh?

  31. poorgradstudent

    She's claiming that it's a budget issue? At least in Virginia our deranged, bigoted overlords claimed it had to do with state universities offering benefits packages that the state as a direct employer did not. Sure, it was still transparent bullshit made to dress up a petty act of bigotry, but at least it made a microscopic bit of sense.

  32. kittensdontlie

    J. Brewder and her Republicants dost protest too much, methinks. They all are sad for having to suppress their sinful shacking urges.

  33. BathroomGoblin

    Those little festive bags of mixed peppers got out of Arizona just in time. Be free and love who you want little peppers!

Comments are closed.