Mesa Non-Discrimination Ordinance Under Attack by Anti-LGBTQ Group
Committee files 11,505 signatures in attempt to overturn ordinance
(Mesa, ARIZ. April 1st, 2021) – “United for Mesa” a committee supported by the anti-LGBTQ organization Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), submitted 11,505 signatures today in an attempt to overturn the recently passed non-discrimination ordinance in Mesa. If they have the required 9,080 verified signatures, the ordinance will be referred to the November 2022 ballot in Mesa. The ordinance passed overwhelmingly with a 5-2 vote on March 1st, 2021 with support from Mesa Mayor John Giles. The ordinance, which protects all people, including LGBTQ people, from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations in Mesa is the result of years of dialogue with diverse stakeholders including businesses, faith leaders, community organizations and families.
“We are confident the coalition of support for the ordinance is far greater than signatures in opposition submitted today. The passage of the ordinance was the result of years of dialogue and support from businesses, first responders, families, community organizations, faith leaders and more. We are confident that Mesa will vote to keep the ordinance and protect all who live, work and visit Mesa,” said Angela Hughey, President of ONE Community. “The ordinance is about equal treatment, not special treatment,” concluded Ms. Hughey.
“As Mesa recovers from the devastating economic impacts of the COVID19 pandemic, we need to be welcoming and inclusive of all people. This divisive effort sadly sends the opposite message, making it harder for us to attract and retain the workers, businesses, meetings and conventions, and events we need to rebuild. I ask people to educate themselves about what the ordinance does and vote for an inclusive Mesa,” said Marc Garcia, President & CEO of Visit Mesa.
“The dignity, equality and right to exist for LGBTQ people should not be up for a vote. As a person who grew up in Mesa, this ordinance was a major victory for fairness, equality and opportunity for all. These hateful efforts by a small minority are not reflective of the Mesa I know today. Equal rights should not be a divisive issue. Equal rights are universal values, central to the beliefs of Arizonans, faith communities, and good business practices. I urge Mesa voters to not be misguided by fear and lies from the opposition, but to learn the facts about how the ordinance makes our community stronger,” said Michael Soto, Executive Director of Equality Arizona.
“If the referendum qualifies for the ballot, I promise this will be a campaign about values; about the values we have in common as a community. This will be a campaign to eradicate ignorance and increase awareness. Awareness that could lead to lives being saved among marginalized populations in our community. I am confident in our capacity to answer questions about the practical application of the NDO while also helping Mesa residents see the benefits of this ordinance,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles.
About ONE Community
Since our inception in 2008, ONE Community has evolved into the member-based coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals moving diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans forward. We are committed to reshaping Arizona’s image through educating, empowering and connecting our diverse LGBTQ and allied communities on the benefits of inclusion and its direct impact on attracting and retaining top talent and businesses—and thereby, ensuring our state’s economic sustainability.
About Equality Arizona
Equality Arizona is a non-profit organization made up of a 501(c)(3), the Equality Arizona Foundation; a 501(c)(4), Equality Arizona; and the Equality Arizona Political Action Committee. Our mission is to build the political power of the Arizona LGBTQ community for our full inclusion in the social, economic, and civil mechanisms of our society. We envision an Arizona where LGBTQ people are included in and lead the social, economic, and civic systems of our state, counties, cities, and communities.