For the second straight year, the City of Phoenix has earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s municipal equality index (MEI), which measures how supportive U.S. communities are of the gay and lesbian community.
Last year, Phoenix was one of the most improved cities in the nation and became the first Arizona city to earn a perfect score. This year, Phoenix was joined by both Tucson and Tempe.
“People are taking notice that Phoenix is one of the most diverse and friendly cities in America, and that’s good for everyone,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “We are a more vibrant and more economically viable city when we treat every person equally under the law.”
In February 2013, the City Council passed a sweeping anti-discrimination ordinance that made it unlawful to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability for the purposes of employment, public accommodations, housing, and government contracts.
Over the past year, Phoenix doubled housing grants awarded to the non-profit organization one-n-ten to provide housing for LGBT youth and the City Council called on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto S.B. 1062, the so-called “right to discriminate” bill, with an 8-to-1 vote.
“I am proud that the City of Phoenix supports equality and inclusion for all of our employees and residents,” Councilwoman Laura Pastor said. “I applaud the Mayor’s leadership on this issue and look forward to continuing the progress the City has made.”
“Today’s announcement underscores what many of us already know: after years of hard work by community leaders and advocates, Phoenix is a city that believes in equality through and through,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. “From the everyday residents who have made change in our city by advocating for equality to the elected leadership, our city has embraced full equality for all of our residents as a fundamental value, not just a sound bite. I look forward to working with Mayor Stanton and my other colleagues in continuing to improve our city and working to make the change we need to bring full equality to all Arizonans.”
“Phoenix’s continued leadership to promote equality is strengthening our economy,” said Angela Hughey, co-founder of ONE Community, a coalition of socially responsible businesses that actively support diversity. “We’ve come a long way, and I’m proud that we have elected officials who will continue to make sure that all of our diverse citizens is celebrated, respected and protected.”