The public is not getting the full story on Scottsdale LGBT non-discrimination ordinance

Reading between the lines of the recent article about the death of the non-discrimination ordinance in Scottsdale reveals the failure of Councilwoman Virginia Korte to carry the torch for the LGBT community, which incidentally is my community.

She pushed hard to introduce an ordinance in Scottsdale, yet she has shown that she does not have the ability to be the consensus builder she proclaims to be. In fact, she quits when things do not fully go her way.

Councilwoman Korte got the issue in front of the city council last year without having enough support or votes to move an ordinance forward. When the city council instead supported getting behind a UNITY Pledge, Korte criticized the council decision and than got busy behind the scenes to convince council members to revisit the issue.

City Hall observers have suggested that Councilwoman Korte was willing to concede on various provisions to convince them, including agreeing that the small business community would not be impacted by an ordinance. In an Aug. 29, 2015 Scottsdale Republic interview, Korte was quoted “I think small businesses, 15 or 20 employees or less, should be excluded from this,” she said.

This very provision proved to be the death knell of the NDO.

Now she is unfairly pinning the blame for the dead ordinance on the mayor and other council members, and she is denying her one-time support for the small business provision. The last time the ordinance was discussed by the full council, she lost the vote of Council ally Linda Milhaven. Milhaven cites the small business “carve out” for withdrawing her support

Traditional Arizona values would suggest that when you agree to a deal, you have to live with the very points negotiated in the deal. It is clear that Councilwoman Korte chose to retreat when her people weren’t behind her anymore. Members of the LGBT community, like myself, would have preferred an NDO — even one that wasn’t entirely perfect. Instead we now have nothing.

Korte should at the very least share in the blame and not simply and swiftly shift it to others.

Editor’s note: Mr. Pritchard is a resident of Scottsdale

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