The Sedona City Council last week
unanimously approved an ordinance that prohibits discrimination based
on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment,
public accommodations and housing.
The ordinance was approved at a
standing room only meeting which took place on Tuesday, September 8.
“A human rights ordinance is a
practical and balanced strategy employed at the city or county level
to promote diversity and economic growth and to prohibit
discrimination based on certain characteristics,” a report issued
by the Arizona city states. “These policies most often ban
discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based
on race, age, religion, sex, disability, ethnicity, national origin
and marital/family status. Most employ mediation to de-escalate
tensions and resolve complaints, with fines for those who are not
willing to engage in conflict resolution.”
Opponents who spoke at the meeting
mostly argued that the ordinance would infringe on the religious
beliefs and rights of individuals, especially in relation to the
issue of marriage equality, the Sedona
Red Rock News reported.
Supporters said that the ordinance
protects all residents.
Four additional cities – Flagstaff,
Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson – have approved similar legislation.