Brewer moves to revoke domestic partner benefits for state employees

Posted: Updated:
Gov. Jan Brewer By Jennifer Thomas Gov. Jan Brewer By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is seeking to revoke domestic partner benefits for state employees.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already denied the request, and now Brewer and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their case.

Brewer has long-opposed the benefits put into place by former governor and current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"It was done by executive order by an out-going governor who flew off to D.C. then I was left with the hugest budget deficit Arizona has ever faced," Brewer told reporters Monday.

Brewer said cutting domestic partner benefits to unmarried straight and gay couples is necessary to balance the state's budget.

Arizona has paid between $4 million and $6 million annually to domestic partners of state employees.   The state budget this year was around $8.6 billion.

Brewer's move is attracting national attention and criticism from civil rights and gay rights groups.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was quick to say he counters Brewer's stance that domestic partner benefits are a burden.

"I see them as an advantage," Stanton told 3TV. "It allows us to attract and retain the best employees.  It's the right thing to do, and it's good management practice."

Horne said the Supreme Court will decide this fall whether to take the case.