Voters Could Kill Professional-LGBTQ+ Ordinance in Arizona’s Third-Largest Metropolis
A group trying to overturn Mesa, Ariz’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance, has submitted more than 11,000 signatures to put the overturn on the ballot.
United for Mesa, an organization founded to campaign for the repeal, filed petitions with 11,505 signatures in the office of town clerk Dee Ann Mickelsen last Thursday, reports the Republic of Arizona. The employees and their co-workers must now determine the validity of the signatures; 9,093 valid voter signatures are required to get the question on the ballot.
Mesa City Council passed the March 1 ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public housing based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and veterans Status, marital status, genetic information, or marital status. It is scheduled to come into force on June 29th. Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, is Arizona’s third largest city with a population of approximately 500,000. only Phoenix and Tucson are more populous.
Mesa Mayor John Giles, who supported the ordinance, complained that the city must now defend it. “Unfortunately, the efforts of a special interest group are now forcing us to prepare for a costly and divisive election across the city in November 2022,” he said in a written statement, the republic said. “In contrast to their misleading petition campaign, the Mesa regulation is moderate and protects the fundamental rights of all, including freedom of religion and privacy. I urge Mesa voters to read up on the facts so that scare tactics do not mislead them. “There is a possibility that the city will hold a special election on this issue before November 2022.
Political advisor George Khalaf, whose company is leading the repeal effort, told the newspaper that this is happening because “people want a voice, and this is the way to get them a seat at the table. They feel like the city council and city leadership have ignored the voice of the people and this is what gives them a voice. “
However, Angela Hughey, president of One Community, Arizona LGBTQ + organization, said, “We truly believe that this ordinance has been drawn up with years of input from business, families, faith leaders and first responders. And we believe that our coalition in support of an MQ that includes LGBTQ is broader than that of the opposition. “
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has spoken out in favor of the ordinance, saying it offers adequate protection for religious freedom, as has bisexual US Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona.
Meanwhile, another Arizona city, Scottsdale, is considering a non-discrimination law that includes LGBTQ people. Scottsdale City Council is due to vote on April 20th on the matter. Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Sedona, Tucson, and Flagstaff already have such ordinances.