PHOENIX — One of Gov. Jan Brewer’s appointees to the Tourism Advisory Council quit Tuesday to protest her bid to strip benefits from the domestic partners of gay state and university employees.
In a letter to the governor, Edwin Leslie noted that last week the Attorney General’s Office, at Brewer’s direction, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow implementation of a 2009 Arizona law saying only the spouses of married workers are entitled to benefits. That law, blocked by a federal appellate court, overturned a year-old change in state personnel rules that homosexual workers with domestic partners are entitled to the same rights.
Leslie told the governor that her actions are contrary to helping promote tourism, including travel by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender community.
“The state of Arizona derives considerable revenues from tourism and considerable revenues from the LGBT community members that visit our great state,” he wrote. “The tourism industry is critical to the state’s economy. I urge you to put aside the politics and act responsibility in favor of ... this critical part of our economy.”