Thursday, December 06, 2007

Scottsdale, AZ Passes LGBT Rights Ordinance

TransGriot Note: Another local jurisdiction passes GLBT protections. One of the things I feared as a result of Barney's ENDA BS cropped up during this debate. Opponents tried and fortunately failed to strip the gender protections out of the ordinance, citing the transgender-free ENDA. Their argument was that if the fedeal ENDA didn't have gender identity language, why should we have it locally?

Scottsdale Passes LGBT Rights Ordinance

by Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 5, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Scottsdale, Arizona) In a 4-3 vote the Scottsdale City Council has enacted an ordinance that extends workplace protections to LGBT city employees.

The move amends the city's equal employment opportunity ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mayor Mary Manross was among those voting for the the ordinance.

"Despite facing strong opposition, Scottsdale's elected officials demonstrated leadership by putting into policy the inclusive practices of this diverse city," said Equality Arizona Executive Director Barbara McCullough-Jones.

The vote came as the state legislature prepared to consider a similar measure to protect LGBT state workers.

In September Manross met with members of the gay community to address concerns over a series of attacks.

In August a 22-year old man was attacked ago outside a Scottsdale bar. He was beaten and nearly lost an eye. His attackers yelled homophobic epithets at him during the attack he said.

The man also said that while he was at the hospital being treated he was belittled because of his sexuality by Scottsdale police officers.

A month earlier a gay man had his jaw cracked when he was attacked leaving a gay bar with a friend. Nicholas Gearing, 27, said at the time he felt police were not taking the assault seriously enough.

Last year a gang of men who attacked a gay couple outside a Scottsdale restaurant. One of the men needed more than a dozen stitches to close wounds on his head and face.

In November a dispute between a transsexual woman and a local bar over the use of a washroom was resolved but only after a formal complaint was lodged with the Attorney General's Office.

Michele de LaFreniere, the chair Scottsdale's Human Relations Commission, was kicked out of the club for using the women's washroom.

LaFreniere said she was told at the time by Tom Anderson, owner of Anderson's Fifth Estate "I don't want your business or your kind here."

Anderson finally agreed to turn one of the bar's bathrooms into a unisex facility.

Equality Arizona said now will work to have the ordinance expanded to include protections for all of the city's LGBT community in housing and employment.

(c) 2007

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