Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sherwood criticizes Tea Party attempt to block cities and towns from passing anti-discrimination ordinances

STATEMENT: Sherwood criticizes Tea Party attempt to block cities and towns from passing anti-discrimination ordinances

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Andrew Sherwood, D-Tempe (District 26), released the following statement regarding a strike-everything amendment to SB 1045, which would give people and businesses permission to deny access to privacy areas, such as restrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms, based on gender identity or expression. This amendment would stop cities and towns from enacting and enforcing policies that protect people from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Sherwood serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which is scheduled to hear the amendment today.

“The Tea Party extremists at the Capitol are more interested in legislating restroom use than they are in passing a budget. Since last week, I’ve received hundreds of emails and phone calls from Arizonans who are disappointed with the direction that extremists in our Legislature are taking.

“These extremists are engaging in political grandstanding, fear mongering and diversionary tactics when the people want the Legislature to focus on the priorities all Arizonans share like job creation, economic development, education and health care.

“The proposed striker to SB 1045 is a solution in search of a problem. There are over 160 cities and towns across the country that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Other cities in Arizona have ordinances like the one the City of Phoenix just passed, and they haven’t resulted in people inappropriately using restrooms, putting public safety at risk or raising privacy concerns. Arizona already has criminal laws in place to deal with any perpetrator who would do that. 

“I am concerned that this political stunt will put Arizona back into the national headlines for all the wrong reasons.”

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