High court deals same-sex couples another win
PHOENIX — Gay marriage proponents marked another victory on Thursday when the Supreme Court rejected appeals from Arizona and Nevada involving the rights of same-sex couples.
The justices let stand an appeals court ruling striking down an Arizona law that made state employees in same-sex relationships ineligible for domestic partner benefits. The Nevada case was a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
The court's actions came amid a landmark week for gay rights. The Supreme Court issued rulings on Wednesday that struck down a provision of a federal law that denies federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for state laws that recognize marriage equality.
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer denied that Arizona had targeted gay couples and slammed the court for not recognizing the state's need to balance its budget by limiting employee benefits.
“This case has never been about domestic partners, same-sex or otherwise,” Brewer said in a statement. “It has always been about the authority of elected state officials to make decisions with which we have been entrusted by the voters.”
Arizona's constitution bans gay marriage, and a 2009 law signed by Brewer repealed domestic partner benefits for state workers.