Human Rights Campaign Joins Advocates and Lawmakers in Arizona to Underscore Critical Need for LGBTQ+ Nondiscrimination Protections Under State Law

by HRC Staff

HRC joined bill sponsor Rep. Andrés Cano, advocates and lawmakers to rally in support of House Bill 2703 and called on Arizona legislators to take urgent action to expand non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people

Photos from the press conference can be found here.

Phoenix, Arizona — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – joined advocates and lawmakers at the Arizona State Capitol to underscore the critical need to expand nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Arizonans. The leaders called on Arizona legislators to vote in support of House Bill 2703, which would modernize Arizona’s civil rights laws by including explicit comprehensive and complete protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in Arizona law. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andrés Cano, was introduced in the House on Monday.

Every person deserves to be treated equally under the law. But currently 29 states – including Arizona – do not have laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Without these protections, LGBTQ+ Arizonans remain vulnerable to being evicted from their homes or kicked out of a business that’s open to the public simply because of who they are. HB 2703 would provide clear, consistent non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across critical areas of life, including employment, housing, and public accommodations.

The Human Rights Campaign’s Arizona State Director Bridget Sharpe released the following statement:

As Americans and Arizonans, we all share the bedrock value that every person deserves to be treated equally under the law – even as we know that isn’t always the case. It’s time that our elected leaders affirm that everyone in Arizona deserves the opportunity to live free from discrimination – with no exceptions.
It’s also worth noting that today’s press conference comes days before Super Bowl LVII will be played in Glendale, Arizona. Nine years ago – the last time the Super Bowl was held here – former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed an anti-LGBTQ+ bill after facing pressure from the Super Bowl host committee. LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones are still under attack in Arizona. HB 2703 would ensure that Arizona is a welcoming, inclusive state for everyone – no matter who they are or who they love.”

House Democratic Leader Andrés Cano, sponsor of the bill to establish a statewide non-discrimination law, added,

“Over the past two years, this has been the worst atmosphere for LGTBQ+ Arizonans I have seen. But it has also been galvanizing for our communities. With dozens of legislative bills targeting our communities, it has brought together ordinary Arizonans, supportive parents, students and advocacy organizations in a concentrated and inspiring efforts to protect equal rights.
With the Super Bowl coming it's important to remember that we have not been passed over for large events because so many of our mayors and city councils have passed non-discrimination ordinances. But a patchwork is not the same as having dignity and equal rights throughout the state. The fact is Arizona remains a state where you can lose your job or be denied housing because of who you are or who you love. Extremism is bad for business. A welcome mat is great for business. It's that simple.

With nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people having reported experiencing discrimination in their personal lives, HB 2703 would level the playing field, guaranteeing that LGBTQ+ Arizonans are extended the same nondiscrimination protections that other Americans have enjoyed for decades. Nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people are supported by an overwhelming majority of bipartisan voters, the business community, faith and civil rights leaders and communities in virtually every corner of the state.

83 percent of Arizonans support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people and 67 percent oppose religiously based service refusals. This support reflects the broad and growing support mirrored in communities across the country. Recent polling from PRRI finds that 8 in 10 Americans favor laws that protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing (including 67 percent of Republicans).

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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