Arizona is hot. No, I'm not talking about the temperature. I'm talking about the energy and heated excitement across the state to build on the success of securing a Governor's veto of SB 1062, the bill passed by the current legislature that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve their gay and lesbian customers based on their own personal religious beliefs.
HRC's Chief Operations Officer and Tucson native Ana Ma and I spent the past four days in the Grand Canyon state meeting with LGBT advocates and straight allies to discuss how to continue the momentum here and move Arizona forward toward fairness for all.
It was great to meet with Angela Hughey of One Community, an Arizona organization that has succeeded in getting hundreds of Arizona-based companies to sign a "Unity Pledge."
One of HRC's National Board members, Sheila Kloefkorn, hails from Phoenix. HRC has worked with One Community to build more support for equality across the state. Currently Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Tempe are the only Arizona cities that have non-discrimination ordinances that protect residents based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
After days of meetings, events, and plenty of tacos and tamales, I am confident that more cities will want to be fair to everyone.
Watch Arizona. HRC will help this great state bounce back from fighting against something horrendous that was passed by the current legislature and make life better for more Arizonans.
Pictured above: HRC's Ana Ma, Sheila Kloefkorn, Marty Rouse and One Community's Angela Hughey.