- August 27, 2014
Post submitted by Josh Zaragoza, HRC Senior Regional Field Organizer
Last night Tempe took a historic step toward ending discrimination against the LGBT community and sent a strong message that Arizona is Open for Business to Everyone.
With the passing of Proposition 475, Tempe is now the first Arizona city to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in city employment and appointments as part of their city charter.
By passing it on the ballot, any future council would have to bring it back to the voters in order to remove these workers’ rights. The charter amendment passed overwhelmingly with seven in ten voters in favor.
These results are a testament to the robust field operation led by HRC and its local partners. While on the ground, a broad coalition of supporters helped us deliver the message that the charter amendment is good for Tempe families, workers and business. Demonstrating again that LGBT equality is not a partisan issue, the initial turnout numbers show Republicans were the largest slice of the electorate last night. This win clearly shows that most people agree that no hardworking Arizonan doing their fair share should be treated differently than any other employee.
Tempe has helped further establish our grassroots infrastructure here in Arizona—as well as a successful model—which we can build on to protect LGBT residents and visitors in other Arizona communities. I am confident Tempe is just the beginning in a wave of equality in municipalities across Arizona.
For example, the all-Republican Scottsdale City Council on Monday unanimously voted to sign ONE Community’s Unity Pledge. The Unity Pledge is a public proclamation that "it’s time for LGBT inclusive non-discrimination practices in the workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations including restaurants and hotels."
We can now work with local advocates to turn this pledge into the legal protections that come with the passage of a non-discrimination ordinance.