Posted by: Donna
The Supreme Court, in addition to striking down DOMA and booting Prop 8 back to California, told Arizona to go pound sand with its petition to the highest court to be allowed to deny same sex couples state employee benefits.
Statement from Governor Brewer
“With its decision today, the Supreme Court has not only upheld the preliminary injunction of an economically-prudent, practical state law. It has also undercut the ability of duly-elected State officials to make decisions critical to managing the State budget.
“The decision to terminate domestic partner benefits was made solely out of financial need. When I took the state’s reins in 2009, the Arizona economy was in disarray. Fiscally unsound, ill-advised decisions had helped contribute to one of the worst budget crises in the country.
“In terminating domestic-partner benefits for State employees of every sexual orientation, the action I took with the Legislature was driven by financial necessity rather than a social agenda. This was a common sense step to get a grasp on Arizona’s tattered State finances.
“This case has never been about domestic partners, same-sex or otherwise. It is always been about the authority of elected State officials to make decisions with which we have been entrusted by the voters. I’m disappointed the High Court has eroded that authority with its decision today.”
Okay, I’ll humor the Governor’s office here for a second and pretend they really, truly cut off domestic partner benefits out of purely fiscal concerns. In that case, why didn’t they cut off all benefits, including those to straight married couples? Think of the money the state would save!
Right. No one buys for one second that the reversal of Governor Napolitano’s extension of benefits to all unmarried couples wasn’t driven by conservative disapproval of gays and unmarried straights shacking up. The Center for Arizona Policy began lobbying immediately to strip the benefits as soon as Brewer took office. And if you know anything about Jan Brewer you know that she’s a deeply religious person.
“We think we can convert God’s truth into a political platform, a set of political issues, and that there is ‘God’s way’ in our politics,” Brewer continued. “I don’t believe that for a moment, any more than you believe that God’s way is exclusively the Lutheran way.”
The governor said, though, she believes it is right — if not inevitable — that elected officials bring their faith to their offices.
Brewer quoted from “Faith and Politics,” a book by John Danforth, a former U.S. senator and ambassador to the United Nations, who also is an Episcopal priest.
“Danforth said, and I agree by the way, that it is important that we don’t check our religion at the church door,” Brewer said. “We want to apply it to the rest of our lives.”
In that speech to a group of pastors, Governor Brewer described the US as a “country of Christianity” and expressed her heartfelt desire to get church all up in your life, citing public programs like child and eldercare which she feels ought to be replaced with church. Social conservatives are happy to own their theocratic tendencies among their own people but downplay them in spaces where they know their unpopular and undemocratic ideas won’t find support. Or they flat out lie about their intentions, as Governor Brewer did here.
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