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Arizona same-sex partners entitled to benefits

A federal appeals court says same-sex partners of Arizona government workers are entitled to the same health care benefits provided to opposite-sex couples.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the blocking of a state law that would have terminated health-insurance eligibility for same-sex partners of state workers.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in September 2009 signed a law repealing the same-sex benefits granted in 2008. A group of gay and lesbian state workers filed a lawsuit two months later, and a federal judge blocked the law from taking effect, ruling that it appeared to be unconstitutional.

A three-judge appeals court panel agreed with the lower court’s decision, ruling that denying same-sex partners the benefits would violate equal protection provisions of the Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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