Statewide non-discrimination update pursuit includes more protections

ONE Community commends the League of Arizona Cities & Towns for passing a resolution supporting a statewide update to Arizona’s current non-discrimination statute to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

The resolution, which reads: “Amend statute to protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” was passed on Aug. 21 by the Resolutions Committee, according to a press release.

Although five Arizona cities have ordinances that ban discrimination, Arizona has no statewide laws protecting people from being fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity; or discriminated against in housing and public accommodations, the release said.

“We applaud the League for their commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans,” said Angela Hughey, president/co-founder of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation in a prepared statement. “This resolution recognizes that updating our laws is both an economic issue and the right thing to do. Patchwork laws are bad for business and bad for Arizonans. Nobody’s rights should depend on their zip code.”

City of Scottsdale Councilwoman Virginia Korte supported the resolution.

“Issues of nondiscrimination transcend borders and are a matter of statewide concern. Regions we compete with already have these protections in place. Our lack of protections put us at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, businesses, and large events. Additionally, treating everyone with fairness and respect is morally incumbent upon us all,” Ms. Korte stated.

While individual municipalities have the authority to create local ordinances, this resolution recognizes the importance of a statewide solution so all Arizonans have equal protections regardless of who they are, who they love, and regardless of their zip code or city border.

“I am proud to have introduced this important resolution to the League of Arizona Cites & Towns,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said in a prepared statement. “Not only is this a basic human right that deserves protection, expanding our state non-discrimination statute is vital to advancing the economic development and prosperity of our communities. World class companies like Apple and the travel and tourism industries look for these protections when scouting a new location, expanding their business or hosting an event.”

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