Opinion: LGBT protection is the right thing to do in Scottsdale

I am deeply disappointed, and actually embarrassed to be a citizen of the City of Scottsdale right now.

As a 32-year Scottsdale resident, community leader and volunteer, business and property owner and concerned citizen – I am astonished at the recent vote and decision made by our City Council not to expand the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to include LGBT citizens like me.

Floored, really.

As a respected business leader active across the Valley, I have always shared stories of Scottsdale and how proud I am to be a part of such a forward thinking and innovative community.

The Indian Bend Wash story – innovation, caring citizens and a responsive government. Vista del Camino’s creation — a caring community that takes care of and protects its vulnerable citizens.

Where is the continuation of the stories that I can refer to today? A Scottsdale that doesn’t include or take care of ALL of its citizens?

While I appreciate the fact that the Unity Pledge was signed by the council – it is NOT enough. It provides NO legal protection.

I know that being a leader involves risk – and I believe Scottsdale need leaders willing to take risks and promote healthy dialogue around important issues. Don’t let our council hide behind the current Unity Pledge and pretend that it is enough.

We need them to keep working and get a full non-discrimination ordinance in place for our city, employers, workers, visitors and citizens. A real solution – to a real issue within our community.

All people should be treated fairly and equally in Scottsdale. It is wrong, that a hard working employee can be fired, a person denied an apartment or refused service simply for being gay. This is not fair, not honorable, and not supposed to be supported by laws in the community I love.

Phoenix and Tempe clearly see both the economic benefits and the integrity issue for their citizens. Outlawing discrimination against the LGBT community in housing, employment and public accommodations by enacting an LGBT inclusive human rights ordinance in the City of Scottsdale is just the right thing to do for so many reasons.

Doing so will show everyone who works, lives and plays in Scottsdale that we are “Open for Business to Everyone.” It will promote goodwill, welcome commerce and ensure that we remain a positive, innovative and caring community.

Editor’s note: Ms. Rogers is a resident of Scottsdale. To respond, send your opinion to scottsdalenews@newszap.com.

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