Scottsdale joins chorus seeking equal rights for all Arizona residents

Scottsdale City Council votes to send letter encouraging sexual orientation and gender identity inclusion. (Submitted photo)

Scottsdale City Council recently voted 6-1 to send a letter to state legislators updating nondiscrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity in workplace, housing, business and public accommodations.

The letter favors an update not only because of ethical reasons, but as a move to significantly aid economic development efforts, and assist with attracting and retaining needed workforce talent, according to a ONE Community Foundation press release.

Arizona has no statewide laws protecting gay and transgender people from being fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity, or discriminated against in housing and businesses open to the public, noted the release.

City council members asked the legislature to consider the issue “to avoid inconsistencies and patchwork policies” throughout the state. So far, only Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff and Sedona have ordinances banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the release.

“This is a very positive step in the right direction, and is reflective of who we are,” Councilwoman Virginia Korte said in a prepared statement. “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.”

“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, in a prepared statement.

ONE Community is said to be a member-based coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals supporting and promoting diversity, inclusion and equality for Arizonans.

The foundation provides educational opportunities, including tuition assistance to LGBTQ and allied potential leaders for leadership training, ensuring better understanding of nondiscrimination and the importance of including the LGBTQ population.

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