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Tempe, Ariz., approves LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

Saturday, March 1, 2014
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TEMPE, Ariz. — The Tempe City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a city-wide ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gay and transgender individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Tempe-ArizThe 7-0 vote comes just one day after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays and others, citing their religious beliefs.

“We are open for business,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “We don’t discriminate. We’re a fabulous community and I think you see that over and over.”

Under the ordinance, businesses or individuals that discriminate in Tempe on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability and U.S. military veteran status face a civil sanction with a fine up to $2,500.

The ordinance includes exceptions for religious groups and private clubs.

Tempe becomes the fourth Arizona city to enact an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination law. The others are Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff.

Tempe, home of Arizona State University, was among the first U.S. municipalities to elect an openly gay mayor, Neil Giuliano, who left office a decade ago after four terms as mayor.

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