MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa City Council is expected to take up a new ordinance to increase protections for the LGBTQ+ community, protecting them from discrimination in public places, at their jobs, and where they live.
FOX 10 first reported on efforts by the East Valley city to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance in January. At the time, the city's mayor, John Giles, says the ordinance is on the list of his top priorities.
"It’s been clear to me for the last few years that this is the right thing to do," said Mayor Giles in January.
While the non-discrimination ordinance will be introduced on the night of Feb. 22, a vote on the ordinance will not come until Mar. 1.
Michael Soto with Equality Arizona says that across Arizona, he knows families in the LGBTQ+ community that feel left out, who feel they don't have the same access and opportunities others do. Soto says the new ordinance will break barriers for many.
"The non-discrimination ordinance is meant to create a level playing field, and meant to create fairness for everyone who lived in Mesa," said Soto. "The idea here is to prevent discrimination based on who people are. That's something that, like I said, we have known in this country is wrong for a long time, and we have taken steps for decades to correct that, and we don't want people discriminated against because of their race, ethnicity, class, their ability, lots of different categories."