Letter encourages inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity
(Scottsdale, AZ) – This week, the Scottsdale City Council voted 6-1 in favor of sending a letter to the Arizona State Legislature, specifically President Steve Yarborough (R-17) and Speaker Mesnard (R-17), encouraging the elected leaders to update Arizona’s non-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity, in the workplace, housing and businesses, and public accommodations.
In addition to an ethical imperative, the letter cited that the City was in favor of an update because such a move would significantly aid in their economic development efforts, as well as assist with the attraction and retention of needed workforce talent. The City also asked the Legislature to take up this issue to avoid inconsistencies and patchwork policies among Arizona’s cities.
Currently, only Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff and Sedona have ordinances that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Arizona has no statewide laws that protect gay and transgender individuals from being fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, or discriminated against in housing and businesses open to the public.
“This is a very positive step in the right direction, and is reflective of who we are,” stressed Councilwoman Virginia Korte. “Scottsdale is a welcoming and inclusive city, and our statewide policies need to match our ethos, while also helping to improve our brand and competitiveness even more,” she added.
“We are proud to be working collaboratively alongside cities including Scottsdale to address this important issue and support a statewide update to our non-discrimination policies. If we want to do the right thing and remain competitive in terms of jobs and growing our economy, then an update to our non-discrimination policies must be a priority,” said Angela Hughey, co-founder and president of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation.