DiCiccio and Herrod work to flush anti-discrimination efforts down the toilet

Have you heard about the ‘Bathroom Bill?’ It’s at the top of the kill list for Phoenix’s City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and Center for Arizona Policy’s Cathi Herrod.

Also known as the LGBT Ordinance, this proposal would amend Phoenix’s civil rights policy to include sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and disability in its list of unlawful discrimination. In other words businesses would not be allowed to discriminate against someone based on gender identity just as they currently cannot discriminate against someone based on race or age or religious affiliation, among other things.

Herrod and DiCiccio like to refer to it as the ‘Bathroom Bill’ because it’s politically savvy to pretend their objections are about bathroom concerns instead of civil protections for LGBT individuals. They argue that little kids might end up using a restroom with a member of the opposite sex.

Herrod also erroneously claims on her website that churches will not be exempt from the ordinance and will be forced to hire homosexuals or transgender individuals, which is flat-out wrong. The religious exemption that was part of the original ordinance remains.

But Herrod doesn’t stop there. She has gone so far as to say this ordinance will lead to child predators pretending to be transgender just so they can gain access to a child through a restroom.

Her scare tactic is quite imaginative, especially since the ordinance doesn’t even address bathroom use, nor does it change criminal penalties for child predators. And though this may come as a shock to some, transgender individuals already use bathrooms in public places.

The argument also strikes me as somewhat, no make that incredibly ridiculous because little kids use bathrooms of the opposite sex all the time. When my boys were young, I always took them into the women’s restroom with me just as I know plenty of dads who took their daughters into the men’s room with them.

If Cathi Herrod is really concerned about this issue, perhaps she should be pushing businesses for the addition of family restrooms or single stall, unisex bathrooms.

You may recall Herrod is the same individual who was credited with single-handedly killing an anti-bullying bill during last year’s legislative session. Until Herrod got involved, the bill was set to pass with plenty of bipartisan support as well as the enthusiastic support of teachers and schools.

Herrod, however, claimed the bill was propaganda for gay rights to push a secret agenda even though the bill never mentioned sexual orientation. No doubt she believes she can successfully kill this ordinance with the same type of scare tactics she used to kill the anti-bullying bill.

While Herrod focuses on bathrooms and churches, DiCiccio is panning the ‘bathroom bill’ as harmful to small businesses, saying the language is so broad “the floodgates of litigation against businesses will be opened.”

Interestingly enough, this ordinance doesn’t change any of the existing non-discrimination penalties against businesses. In fact, mediation, not criminal prosecution, is always the first step after a complaint is filed, and to date, no “floodgate of litigation” or anything close to that has ensued within the city.

Phoenix is behind, way behind, other major cities when it comes to extending civil protections for the LGBT community. 166 other cities, including Tucson, have already passed these ordinances, and it has not disrupted the business community or led to frivolous lawsuits.

The Council is set to vote on the ordinance next week Tuesday, February 26. Councilman DiCiccio has pledged he will vote against it, and it’s believed that Councilman Jim Waring will vote no as well. If you’re a Phoenix resident who does not wish to continue to legalize the discrimination of the LGBT community (because without these protections, discrimination against LGBT individuals IS perfectly legal), then I suggest you call or email your councilman/woman and voice your support for the revised ordinance. Don’t let the scare tactics of a few flush away years of progress by many.


    1. Post
      Julie Erfle

      Yes, Mike, I’m fully aware that not everyone agrees with my point of view. Perhaps you’ve forgotten, however, that this is my blog, and I intend to write about issues that I deem important. If you disagree with what I say, you’re free to comment so long as you stick to the topic at hand. Try reading the “about” section if you’re still confused.

  1. John

    It is ironic that heterosexuals are against discrimination based on sexual orientation. What this ordinance would do is protect both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

    Heterosexuals could not be discriminated against for being heterosexual.

    I guess in the end, heterosexuals think it is ok to discriminate against heterosexuals.

  2. Mike Slater

    Julie, I agree it’s your blog and appreciate the fact that you allow comments. I hope you don’t take offense with the comments from those of us that don’t agree with your liberal views.

    1. Post
      Julie Erfle

      I don’t take offense, so long as the comments relate to the post and are not simply personal jabs at me. You’re free to make the personal jabs, I just don’t intend to publish them.

  3. Lynne Boschee

    Get spoke to Diccicio’s office. Not that it will matter, but I felt the need to make my voice heard. Legislated bigotry is not OK with me and shouldn’t be OK in America.

    1. Bill

      I am a Christian and feel that what one person calls bigotry, another calls it holy and just. The Bible teaches me to abhor wickedness and there are many sins the Bible states are sin. Gambling, fornication, slandering, malice, drunkenness, and envy are all sins. What is not included as a sin is being black, white, Hispanic, being a female or male, being old or young, and so on. So… justly, Americans write laws that prohibit unjust actions such as not hiring a female simply because she is a female, or, not allowing blacks and whites to marry. The Bible does however, state that homosexuality is perverted and that homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus, it is our Jewish and Christian duty hold in contempt unnatural acts. The new city of Phoenix ordinance is a violation of my 1st Amendment rights. As a Judeo-Christian, I have a right to: a) teach that the homosexual lifestyle is vile and perverted; and b) live in a society without vulgarity. We must compel our society to be free from this perversion in the same way we do not allow men to marry more than one man, nor do we allow a man to marry more than one woman. Homosexuality, like polygamy, is perverted and should not be accepted.

      See: Romans 1:24-27; 1 Timothy 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Jude 7; Leviticus 20:13.

      Julie, I am glad that we are Americans and all have a right to a different point of view.

      1. Post
        Julie Erfle

        I couldn’t disagree with you more Bill, and I know many Christians and Jews who also disagree with you. I do not wish to argue the point. I doubt I can change your mind just as I know you cannot change mine. I’m happy the Phoenix City Council has taken steps to prevent discrimination against the LGBT and disabled communities. I believe Americans will look back on this time in history much the same way we now look back at the racism and discrimination that was so prevalent in this country before the Civil Rights movement. We still have a long ways to go on both fronts, but I feel confident that the tide is turning.

  4. Steve Meissner

    In the early Sixties they opposed civil rights by alleging it would lead to a “mixing of the races.”

    Today they oppose civil rights by waving the red herring of bathrooms.

    1. John D

      If you have a daughter, you will change your mind when she gets accosted in the bathroom by a boy who is pretending to “feel like” a girl, just for the fun on creating a minor riot in the restroom.
      And, don’t foreget that your daughter could be prosecuted it she screams or resists the person at the entrance.

      1. Post
        Julie Erfle

        John, you’re incorrect. The ordinance doesn’t change any laws about harassment or assault, and in the 166 other cities that have passed similar ordinances, there has been no rash of “bathroom incidences.”

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