Tempe is First Arizona City to Ban Discrimination Against LGBT City Workers in Charter

The citizens of Tempe, Arizona voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve Proposition 475, a change to the city charter that would ban discrimination against LGBT city workers, the Arizona Republic reports:

TempeThe public vote came in the wake of the City Council voting unanimously to approve an ordinance on Feb. 27 that bans discrimination against the LGBT community in areas of housing, employment and public accommodations, such as restaurants and hotels. The ordinance, which did not provide protections for Tempe municipal workers, includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs.

Businesses or individuals who discriminate in Tempe on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, U.S. military veteran status, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, age or disability now face a civil sanction with a fine up to $2,500. The penalty mirrors fines in Phoenix under a similar ordinance.

The ballot measure read:

A proposed amendment to the Tempe City Charter by the City Council.

OFFICIAL TITLE: A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF TEMPE, ARIZONA, ARTICLE IX, GENERAL PROVISIONS, SECTION 9.01, PROHIBITIONS AND PENALTIES, SUBSECTION (A)(1), ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED.

DESCRIPTIVE TITLE: Shall the Tempe City Charter be amended to prohibit discrimination or favor for city positions on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, political affiliation, disability or United States military veteran status, except as such favor may be authorized by law?

A "YES" vote shall have the effect of amending the Tempe City Charter by including additional categories to be protected from discrimination or favor with respect to city positions.

A "NO" vote shall have the effect of retaining the current charter language.

Advocates hope that the successful passage of Proposition 475 will prompt more Arizona cities to add LGBT protections to existing statues.