The City of Phoenix on Tuesday approved
a gay-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance.
After a hearing lasting more than five
hours in which hundreds of people testified for 60 seconds each,
Phoenix City Council members approved the measure which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability, sexual orientation, gender
expression or gender identity in the areas of employment, housing and
An estimated 500 people attended the
hearing held at the Orpheum Theatre, the Arizona
“I'm here to convince you to be on
the right side of history today,” testified Dale Heuser, president
of Equality Maricopa, a gay rights group. “This is a basic
“The issue that we are facing today
is not an issue of rights,” an opponent testified. “It's an
issue of morality.”
Some opponents argued that the law's
transgender protections would allow sexual predators to stalk
bathrooms. Others said they feared the measure would harm small
Upon passage, supporters reportedly
erupted in applause.
Phoenix, the nation's sixth most
populous city, joins 16 states and more than 160 cities in enacting
such a law.