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Phoenix mayor seeks ordinance to outlaw discrimination against gays

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is looking to address gaps in the city’s human-rights protections, and has assembled a group of aides and attorneys to draft an ordinance that would outlaw discrimination against LGBT residents.

If rewritten, city laws would give victims of such discrimination the ability to file complaints with the city’s Equal Opportunity Department for investigation — an option LGBT citizens currently do not have, reported the Arizona Republic.

Such protections already exist for the disabled and for ethnic minorities in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodations like hotels and restaurants.

City Councilman Tom Simplot, a Phoenix attorney who is openly gay, said he anticipates some resistance from council members, who may be reluctant to even discuss the issue at a public meeting.

The effort comes as the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel tries to recover from threats of boycott by the gay community over a decision by the manager of the hotel’s District American Kitchen & Wine Bar to expel a lesbian couple in late February after customers saw them kiss.

The hotel is owned by the city and managed under the Sheraton brand through a contract with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Attorneys for the couple advised them that they had no grounds for a lawsuit due to the city’s lack of anti-discrimination laws for lesbians and gays.

Stanton, a Democrat, is a member of “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry,” a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 mayors from across the U.S. who have publicly stated their support for marriage equality for LGBT citizens, and their intention to work toward that goal.

Last month, Stanton appointed an openly gay Arizona teen as a youth and diversity liaison to help raise awareness about bullying and diversity, and to serve as a point of contact for the mayor’s office on youth issues.

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Filed under: Arizona

13 more reader comments:

  1. yay!

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:21pm
  2. You mean Arizona can do the right thing? Yay!

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:22pm
  3. take it to obama to make it an amendment.

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:22pm
  4. WOW arizona i’m shocked you aren’t ass backwards on this as well lol well that is a good thing

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:24pm
  5. shared

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:25pm
  6. While I was living in Phoenix, I met a lot of lgbt individuals and was saddened me that they were always discriminated against everywhere. I hope the mayor gets it done.

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:30pm
  7. For a minute, I thought this was an article on the Rebel Alliance.

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:37pm
  8. Thank you, Mayor Stanton! We LOVE all of our straight allies!

    Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:43pm
  9. Good for you Phoenix!

    Posted on Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 1:37am
  10. take a look at this Group if you want No Strings fun, a Date or just to hook up & chat.. LGBT

    Posted on Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 3:46am
  11. Also, this page is for LGBT! Join & Have fun

    Posted on Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 3:47am
  12. Porque la organizacion,(PEOPLE OF COLOR)no educa a esta nueva generacion gay,y ense~arles que los gays no se comportan faltandole el respeto a persanas mayores a no tirar basura a las calles puedo testimoniar atropellos a personas en Christopher st,la comunidad etereo sexual siempre han sido gay friendli pero con la actitud de esta nueva generacion gay,lo unico que produce es rechazo a tada la comunidad gay,y despues de luchar por tener los mismos derechos,me averguenzo ante los etereo que visitan el area.

    Posted on Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 5:05am
  13. Sadly the BITCH that runs the state will probably not let it go through.

    Posted on Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 8:52am