If you own a business, please be sitting down when you read the latest proposal. The new ordinance being fast-tracked by Mayor Stanton is a disaster for local small businesses in the City of Phoenix. For the first time, any business with one or more employee will be subject to criminal penalties of up to a Class 1 misdemeanor, the highest misdemeanor one can receive.
The proposal requires all businesses that operate in Phoenix to accommodate any individual that wants to express their personal gender or identity. If for example, a man wanted to use the woman’s bathroom in order to express himself then the business owner will be required to allow him to do that or face a criminal penalty and civil litigation. A criminal penalty that will be enforced by the City of Phoenix.
This is a difficult thing to discuss. It opens the door to individuals claiming you are a bigot, old fashioned and someone who condones discrimination. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe in full transparency and you, the citizens, have every right to know what your leaders are up to. And, you need to know about it before it passes next week. Click here to read the ordinance (see “2013 Proposed Human Relations Ordinance changes”)
The language of the ordinance is so broad; the floodgates of litigation against businesses will be opened. What’s worse, the business community has not even been made aware of this and almost all of the elected leaders in the City were unaware of these proposed changes until last week. This tactic of ramming through such dramatic changes without input from community that will be impacted the most, our local small businesses, shows a total disregard for our business community. This lack of transparency must stop immediately. I have sent a letter and called on the City Manager to immediately notify all businesses in the City of Phoenix of these changes-before the vote next week. Click here to read the letter.
This proposed ordinance should be continued to allow all affected parties an opportunity to comment and have their voices heard. Discrimination is deplorable and we should not stand for it. However, the proposed changes are poorly crafted and go after a non-existent problem.
If this ordinance passes as it is expected to do, business will be forced to hire more lawyers than employees.
My best to you and your family,
Sal DiCiccio, City Council member, Phoenix