By Endia Fontanez
Residents of the city of Mesa might soon be protected by a Non-Discrimination Ordinance that would protect LGBTQ+ individuals and others from discrimination in public accommodation, housing, and employment.
The ordinance will be officially voted on Monday, March 1. Before it is put to a vote, members of the community will be given a chance to comment during the Mesa City Council meeting at 5:45 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live at mesa11.com/live.
Residents can sign up to either speak to the council, or submit a comment card to be read aloud by someone else during the meeting. Supporters of the ordinance hope for as many public comments as possible, as community support has been known to greatly influence the outcomes of council-related decisions such as this one.
This non-discrimination ordinance has been years in the making through a combined effort by the Mayor, City Council and members of the community, and if passed, will have immediate positive affects on the city of Mesa as a whole as well as all of its people.
Currently, without the ordinance in place, people can legally be denied housing, employment or services simply for being gay or transgender in Mesa. Additionally, even if an LGBTQ+ individual is currently employed in or living in Mesa, they face the risk of being fired or evicted at any moment if it is found out that they are gay or transgender.
By implementing a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, veteran’s status, marital status, or familial status, the result would be equal opportunities for people of all backgrounds to live comfortably in Mesa, by eliminating the fear that one could lose their house or job due to factors outside of their control.
In addition to benefiting the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people and others, the ordinance would also make Mesa a more appealing city to many Fortune 500 companies that already have non-discrimination ordinances in place, thus benefiting Mesa’s business and economy.
Those who oppose the ordinance most often do so out of fear that predators would use this ordinance to enter women’s restrooms and sexually assault or harass people, but these arguments have been found to hold no validity. Similar non-discrimination ordinances have already been implemented in over 300 other U.S. cities. and LGBTQ+ people have benefited from every single one at no expense to anyone else.