City Hall

Phoenix City Council Listens to Passionate Arguments For and Against Anti-Discrimination Measure

Testimony for and against a measure to protect members of the LGBT and disabled communities has been going on for more than two hours.

An audience packed with members of the LGBT community, religious leaders, Phoenix residents, and business owners are trying with both logical and emotional pleas to persuade the Phoenix City Council to agree with their views.

Concerned that the language of the measure permits men to enter women's restrooms, fathers and mothers have spoken about their fears of their children being attacked.

Those repeated concerns are prompting anger from LGBT speakers, who say it is highly offensive for opponents to equate members of the community to sexual predators.

Groans and moans, cheers and jeers repeatedly erupted from the crowd as Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton alternated between speakers who oppose and support the measure.

"I don't know what you all do in the restroom, but I just go in and do my thing," one transgender woman told the council.

Another speaker said he opposes the measure because businesses should be able to decide the issues of discrimination, not government.

One woman called members of the LGBT community "deviants," drawing many groans from the audience.

Several speakers have complained that they haven't been given enough time to vet the proposed ordinance, and are asking the City Council to postpone a vote.

Some in the audience yelled that they have been waiting many years for this measure.