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Tempe City Council passes anti-discrimination law

PHOENIX — The Tempe City Council passed a law Thursday night that will bring fines up to $2,500 against any business that discriminates based on, among other things, sexual orientation, race, religion and disability.

Councilman Kolby Granville said in a statement, “In your heart of hearts you can believe whatever you want, but if you come to Tempe I expect you to treat everyone equally. I think every city should have an anti-discrimination ordinances. Frankly, I think it should be part of state law, and I think we will get there.”

Mayor Mark Mitchell and the council unanimously passed the ordinance, which read in part:

“The city ordinance bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels, but includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs. Businesses or individuals that discriminate in Tempe on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability and U.S. military veteran status. …”

Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff have passed similiar measures.

The move comes in the aftermath of the state’s controversial SB 1062, which Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed Wednesday.

That bill would have allowed businesses, citing religious beliefs, to deny service to gays and others.

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