What’s With Arizona??

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Arizona State Flag

Maybe it’s in the water. Maybe it’s the heat. Whatever it is, it’s bringing out the worst in the people of Arizona. I didn’t even realize that the governor, Jan Brewer, signed a bill into law last September denying benefits to domestic partners of state employees. The new law, which takes effect October 1, redefines “dependent” and excludes  coverage for domestic partners, including heterosexual partners, children of domestic partners, disabled adult dependents, and full time students over 22 who are claimed as dependents.

Interestingly enough, the University of Arizona has decided to reinstate benefits to domestic partners, using funds separate from state money, in order to remain competitive in attracting talent. According to the Arizona Daily Star, about 20 employees of the University left because of the repeal of domestic partner benefits and some job offers were rejected for the same reason.

I’ve always seen the offering of benefits to domestic partners and other dependents as a way to get more people insured in America. Without those benefits, many people will not have health insurance at all. Why shouldn’t a person be able to cover more than herself on her policy if she is willing to pay the family premium? In fact, I think insurance policies ought to cover adult children indefinitely. There’s a terrible gap in insurance coverage between 22-year-olds and those who have finally established their careers to the point where they get employee benefits.

Nor do I think people should be forced to marry just so they can share a family insurance plan. It’s not the place of the state to pry into what kind of relationship domestic partners have.

Continue reading What’s With Arizona??

Tuesday Tidbits

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Slightly more Americans are “pro-life” than “pro-choice” according to a recent Gallup poll, reversing a trend that held constant throughout the years 1995-2008. The shift occurred among Republicans and Independents, who (in my opinion) appear to become more conservative during times of national stress.

The French Postal Service has issued a 12-stamp booklet concerning the issue of violence against women. The stamps were designed in recognition of V-Day, a global movement started in 1998 by Eve Ensler to put an end to all forms of violence against women and girls.

The American Academy of Pediatricians has  proposed  “nicking”  newborn girls to “satisfy” parents intent on female circumcision (otherwise known as FGM for “female genital mutilation”). I’m with Swampfoot at Daily Kos on this one: WTF? More information and reactions here and here.

Am I the only one who thinks Miley Cyrus just might be getting out of control? I’ve tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but if she was my daughter…

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill Tuesday that bans ethnic studies classes in the state’s public schools. The new law (see PDF) bans classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” Source: Feminist Majority Foundation’s Feminist News Digest