Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio is trying to rally his ultra-right-wing conservative troops to oppose a policy proposal that aims protect individuals from discrimination because of their "sexual orientation," "gender identity or expression," and "disability."
DiCiccio calls the proposal a "radical left turn for Phoenix."
He attacks Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton for his support of the measure and for trying to "fast track" it.
The City Council is considering the proposal at 2:30 p.m. today at the Orpheum Theater (they're expecting a big crowd), 203 W. Adams Street.
How radical can the idea of expanding discrimination protection for members of the LGBT community when it adopted in places such as Salt Lake City about three years with the support of the Mormon church and business community. And, versions of anti-discrimination laws that apply to the LGBT community are found in cities, counties and states across the country.
Tucson expanded its anti-discrimination law back in 1999.
And even though the Phoenix measure specifically states the "ordinances will continue to contain exemptions for religious organizations, small private landlords, senior housing, and private clubs, among others," anti-discrimination opponents are firing up opposition on two fronts.
One, they claim the proposal is an assault on churches.
DiCiccio, in an official District 6 press release, claims to have "uncovered that it opens the door for criminal penalties against churches."
He poses the questions: "Should our priests, pastors, rabbis and bishops and stake presidents be made criminals by the City of Phoenix? Do you think it is the role of our city to impose criminal penalties against churches?"
The Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative policy group, claims the exemption for churches and others are "weak" because it could "force a church or a parachurch organization, like a Christian school to hire homosexuals and transgenders regardless of the church's religious beliefs."
And if you're not religiously inclined, opponents of the
LGBT community amendments to the anti-discrmination measure have tried to block it by dubbing it the "Bathroom Bill."
They are conjuring images of grown men disguising themselves as women and following little girls into restrooms.
Center for Arizona Policy -- and DiCiccio as their echo chamber -- warns parents that "there are no protections in this law to prohibit a predator from posing as a so-called "transgender" to gain access to a child through a restroom or locker room."
DiCiccio is quoted in the Arizona Republic expressing his concerns as a father: "I've got two small kids and I just would not feel comfortable having a man following them in the bathroom. This bathroom thing is a problem."
But it begs the question: Why would a parent so concerned about their child's safety send "small kids" alone into the restroom?
The argument assumes that 1) women are not capable of doing harm to children they spot unaccompanied in a public restroom and 2) somehow little boys alone in a men's restroom with grown men wearing men's clothes are perfectly safe -- it's only the little girls we should worry about.
Here's a list of cities, counties, states that, according to the Phoenix Mayor's Office, have adopted anti-discrimination measure that include a person's sexual orientation, and the year those proposals were first approved.
If anything, it begs the question why it has taken Phoenix so long to adopt such protections for members of the LBGT community and individuals with disabilities.
Arizona City of Tucson-1999
California -also state law Allegheny County-2009 Santa Cruz County-1998 City of Los Angeles-1979 City of Oakland-2005 City of San Diego-2003 City of San Francisco-1994 City of San Jose-2002 City of Santa Cruz-1992 City of West Hollywood-1998
Connecticut - state law
Colorado City of Boulder-2000 City of Denver-2001 District of Columbia City of Washington-2006
Florida Broward County-2008 Leon County-2010 Monroe County-2003 Palm Beach County-2007 Volusia County-2011 City of Dunedin-2002 City of Gainesville-2008 City of Gulfport-2005 City of Key West-2003 City of Lake Worth-2007 City of Miami Beach-2004 City of Oakland Park-2007 City of Tampa-2009 City of West Palm Beach-2007
Georgia City of Atlanta-2000 City of Decatur-2002
Hawaii - state law Idaho City of Sandpoint-2011
Illinois Cook County-2002 City of Bloomington-2002 City of Carbondale-2005 City of Champaign-1977 City of Chicago-2002 City of Decatur-2002 City of DeKalb-2000 City of Evanston-1997 City of Peoria-2003 City of Springfield-2003 City of Urbana-1979 Indiana Marion County-2005 Monroe County-2010 City of Bloomington-2006 City of Evansville-2011 City of Indianapolis-2005 City of South Bend-2012
Iowa Johnson County-2006 City of Council Bluffs-2008 City of IowaCity-1995 City of Waterloo-2007
Kansas City of Lawrence-2011 Kentucky Jefferson County-1999 Lexington-Fayette County-1999 City of Covington-2003 City of Louisville-1999 Louisiana City of New Orleans-1998 Massachusetts - also state law City of Boston-2002 City of Cambridge-1997 City of Northampton-2005 Maryland - also state law Howard County-2011 Montgomery County-2007 City of Baltimore-2002
Michigan Saugatuck Township 2007 City of Ann Arbor-1999 City of Detroit-2008 City of East Lansing-2005 City of Ferndale-2006 City of Grand Rapids-1994 City of Huntington Woods-2002 City of Kalamazoo-2009 City of Lansing-2006 City of Saugatuck-2007 City of Traverse-2011 City of Ypsilanti-1997 Minnesota - also state law City of Minneapolis-1975 City of St. Paul-1990 Missouri City of Clayton-2011 City of Columbia-2011 City of KansasCity-2008 City of Olivette-2011 City of St. Louis-2010 City of UniversityCity-2005 Montana City of Missoula-2010
Nebraska City of Omaha-2012
New Hampshire - state law
New Jersey - state law
New Mexico - state law
New York Suffolk County-2001 Tompkins County-2005 City of Albany-2004 City of Buffalo-2002 City of Ithaca-2003 City of New York-2002 City of Rochester-2001
Ohio Summit County-2009 City of Akron-2009 City of Bowling Green-2008 City of Cincinnati-2006 City of Cleveland-2009 City of Columbus-2008 City of Dayton-2007 City of Oxford-2008 City of Toledo-1998 Village of Yellow Springs-2009
Oregon Benton County-1998 Multnomah County-2001 City of Beaverton-2004 City of Bend-2004 City of Corvallis-2007 City of Hillsboro-2006 City of Lake Oswego-2005 City of LincolnCity-2005 City of Portland-2000 City of Salem-2002 Pennsylvania Erie County-2002 Haverford Township-2011 Lower Marion Township-2011 Springfield Township-2011 Susquehanna Township-2011 Whitemarsh Township-2011 Jenkinstown Borough-2011 Lansdowne Borough-2006 New Hope Borough-2002 Newton Borough-2011 State College Borough-2007 West Chester Borough-2006 City of Allentown-2002 City of Bethlehem-2011 City of Doylestown-2011 City of Easton-2006 City of Harrisburg-1983 City of Philadelphia-2002 City of Pittsburgh-1997 City of Scranton-2005 City of Swarthmore-2006 City of York-1998
Rhode Island - state law
South Carolina City of Charleston-2009 City of Columbia-2008 Texas Dallas County-2011 City of Austin-2004 City of Dallas-2002 City of El Paso-2003 City of Fort Worth-2009 Utah Grand County-2010 Salt Lake County-2010 Summit County-2010 City of Alta-2011 City of Harrisville-2012 City of Logan-2010 City of Park City-2010 City of Salt Lake-2009 City of Springdale-2012 City of West Valley-2010 City of Midvale-2011 City of Moab-2011 City of Murray-2011 City of Ogden-2011 City of Taylorsville-2010 Vermont - state law
Washington King County-2006 City of Burien-2005 City of Olympia-2005 City of Seattle-1986 City of Tacoma-2002
Wisconsin - also state law Dane County-2001 City of Madison-2000 City of Milwaukee-2007
West Virginia City of Charleston-2007
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.