Tea Party of Scottsdale, AZ
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Council Considering Special Protections for LGBT - Study Session November 17

lgbt.jpegOnce again, the Scottsdale City Council is considering whether to enact a law to provide special protections based on "sexual orientation" and "gender identity." These laws have been used to try to force people of faith to violate their consciences and participate in or promote same-sex unions. They are what led to the $135,000 fine against Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa and to the lawsuit against florist Barronelle Stutzman because both of them declined to serve same-sex ceremonies. These laws have also been used to allow biological men into women's bathrooms in many cities across our nation.   

On November 17, the Scottsdale City Attorney will make a presentation to the city council about whether Scottsdale should have this type of law.

Just last March, the council voted to enact a "Unity Pledge" that encouraged Scottsdale businesses to promise to treat those who identify as LGBT fairly and with respect. Many businesses signed that pledge. There is no evidence of unfair treatment of anyone in Scottsdale. In fact, many remark about what a friendly place Scottsdale is, for everyone. We don't want to see it become a city where people of faith are in fact unwelcome. This law may lead to that outcome.

Together, we can stop this from happening, just like our neighbor, Fountain Hills, recently did. In fact,

 lots of cities and towns have recently decided against these types of laws – small ones like Bardstown, KY; medium-sized ones like Elkhart, IN; and large ones like Charlotte, NC and most recently Houston, TX. We can urge the city council to protect all our citizens and decide against this type of law.

Action Needed

We ask that you call or email your city councilmembers today to voice your objection to this kind of law.   

Click here to find the email addresses for the five city elected officials we encourage you to reach out to. The council's general phone number, for all its members, is 480.312.2550. You can email or call even if you don't live in Scottsdale. After all, you probably sometimes shop in Scottsdale, and so this law will affect you. But please indicate if you do live, or work, in Scottsdale, or if you frequent Scottsdale's stores and restaurants, and so will be subject to the effects of the law if the council enacts one. As always, please be respectful in your email or phone call. 

See below for suggested talking points. You can use some of them in your email or phone call when you let the city council know that you are watching this matter carefully. Choose one or two points that best express your concerns and include them in your short email to the council members to explain why you do not want this type of law in Scottsdale.

Come join the council meeting on November 17th! Make your presence known by coming to the public meeting next week. It starts at 5:00 p.m. and will be discussed near the end of their meeting. Unfortunately public comment will not be taken for the so-called “non-discrimination” ordinance. Note that you can write comments ahead of time that will be entered into the public record. Click here to leave your comment. Be sure to note that the Item Number is “Work Study Session Item Number 1.”

Lastly, while it is important that we make our voice heard now, the council may very well tell the city attorney on November 17 to draft a proposed law for them to subsequently consider. If that happens, do not be discouraged! We will simply have to redouble our efforts to convince the council that a vote for this type of law is a vote against religious freedom and is not in the best interests of Scottsdale's citizens.

Possible Talking Points for Emails and Phone Calls

Click here to email your city council members!

Top Line Messaging:  The city council should safeguard constitutional freedoms. These types of laws undermine them. 

  • Everywhere these laws have passed, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience are at risk.
  • Every lawmaker's first duty is to protect and uphold – not threaten – citizens' constitutionally protected freedoms.
  • Every law should respect the constitutional freedoms of all our citizens. These laws are a clear and present danger to our most precious freedoms.

The city council's first priority should be to guard our freedoms.

  • The government has no business punishing its citizens for their ideas and beliefs. 
  • Briefly tell the story of Barronelle StutzmanBlaine AdamsonJack Phillips, or Donald and Evelyn Knapp to illustrate how governments use these types of laws to punish citizens for their religious beliefs.
  • Freedom from government coercion is good for the economy, the business community, and the people of our community.
  • This type of law is an answer to a problem we do not have. By showing intolerance to people of faith, it does nothing more than undermine our freedom to live in a diverse, robust, and tolerant city.

Elected officials have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all citizens.

  • Compromising the safety and privacy of women and children is not an option.
  • Enacting a law that allows men into the public restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms that women and girls use is an invasion of privacy and a threat to safety.
  • This law is bad policy because the safety and privacy rights of women and girls are too important to ignore.

In Scottsdale, we already are respectful and tolerant of one another.   

  • Scottsdale is already diverse and inclusive. There is no need for an ill-conceived law that will trample religious freedom and put the privacy and safety of women and girls at risk. 
  • This city is already a tolerant place. We should ensure that everyone's freedom of speech, conscience, and religion is protected. 
  • Arizonans value diversity. Scottsdale does not have a discrimination problem that warrants overreaching government laws like this.
  • There is no evidence that there are patterns of discrimination in Scottsdale against those who identify as LGBT. This law is a solution in search of a problem.

We should let the "Unity Pledge" unite us, and not enact laws that will divide our community.

  • Scottsdale already passed the "Unity Pledge," and many businesses have signed it, pledging to treat everyone with respect. Plus, there is no evidence of discrimination problems in Scottsdale. There is simply no need for a law like this. Scottsdale businesses are already treating everyone fairly. 
  • The "Unity Pledge" struck the proper balance. It encourages businesses to treat people fairly without forcing business owners to violate their consciences and their sincerely held religious beliefs about sensitive issues like marriage. 
  • If you move forward with this type of law, it will prove to be divisive. The "Unity Pledge," on the other hand, unites us around our commitment to be fair to one another. The city council should let the "Unity Pledge" work.
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posted about this on Facebook 2015-11-12 06:54:22 -0700
Council Considering Special Protections for LGBT - Study Session November 17
@TPScottsdale tweeted link to this page. 2015-11-12 06:54:19 -0700
published this page in Scottsdale City Council & DDC 2015-11-12 06:54:13 -0700