LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill Introduced in ArizonaJanuary 30, 2017 • 2:40 pm
PHOENIX – This morning, Arizona state Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs and House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios, as well as community, faith and business representatives, held a press conference announcing the introduction of legislation to update the state’s laws to include nondiscrimination protections for veterans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.
“In most parts of Arizona, it is legal to fire someone from their job, evict them from their home or deny them public services, such as at a restaurant, store or hospital, simply because of their veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity,” Hobbs said in a statement. “As Arizonans, we believe that everyone should be treated equally under the law; that’s why we need this important update.”
Currently, Arizona civil rights laws provide protections to individuals based on several factors, including religion, race and skin color in housing, employment and public accommodations, such as stores, hotels, restaurants and hospitals. The law does does not extend these protections to veterans or LGBT people, potentially jeopardizing new business and events like NCAA championships. Senate Bill 1320 and House Bill 2364 will change this.
“Senate Bill 1320 and House Bill 2364 would not only protect veterans and LGBT individuals from discrimination, but will also strengthen the state’s economy by ensuring that Arizona continues to be an open and inclusive place to live, work and do business,” Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, said.
Earlier this month, Dan Gavitt, NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, hinted that Arizona might lose lucrative championship games if lawmakers do not adopt nondiscrimination protections for LGBT players, fans and employees:
“The board of governors has made a statement that being inclusive and being true to our core values at the NCAA and our member institutions, and hosting events in communities that are inclusive and welcoming is important.”
Last October, The 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Survey by the Harris Poll found that 67 percent of Americans support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals. The poll also found that people are willing to back businesses that support treating LGBT people equally.
“Americans oppose discrimination, and we know many people consider how businesses, cities and even states treat LGBT people and their families before deciding where to visit or invest their money,” McTighe added.
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.