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Mayor Greg Stanton: DOJ challenge to LGBT rights doesn’t apply to Phoenix

(AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)

PHOENIX — The US Department of Justice challenge of LGBT employment rights has nothing to do with Phoenix, according to Mayor Greg Stanton.

“Our city ordinance would govern in the City of Phoenix,” Stanton told KTAR.

The DOJ has challenged Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. But the DOJ is basically arguing that under federal law it is not illegal to fire an employee based on his or her sexual orientation.

But Stanton says that doesn’t change things for Phoenix.

“Nothing in federal law indicates that their interpretation of Title VII, a federal law would govern our ability to enforce a city ordinance,” he said. “This is a different situation.”

Stanton said regardless of the outcome of this case, Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance will protect employees.

The Phoenix City Council voted to expand the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to protect on the basis of sexual orientation and disability in 2013.

“I’m 100 percent confident that our strong non-discrimination ordinance still applies regardless of the outcome of this case,” he said. “If you are an employer in the City of Phoenix, you cannot discriminate based upon LGBT status,” he said. “And that makes Phoenix a more competitive workplace.”

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