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Over diocese’s objections, Phoenix revises ‘human relations ordinance’

Catholic World News - March 12, 2013

In a 5-3 vote, the Phoenix City Council has amended its human-relations ordinance to forbid places of public accommodation “to directly or indirectly display, circulate, publicize or mail any advertisement, notice or communication which states or implies” that anyone “would be unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, [or] undesirable” on the basis of “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”

The amended ordinance also prohibits discrimination in employment and housing on the same basis.

“As written, the proposed ordinance could be interpreted as forcing people to actively endorse, support and promote actions and behaviors that violate their own personal, deeply held religious beliefs,” the diocese said in a statement.

“By failing to provide a clear means by which individuals may, in good conscience and without malice, practice their faith and live their values without fear of prosecution and punishment, the proposed ‘non-discrimination’ ordinance actually could be used as a means to codify and mandate unjust discrimination against people of faith.”

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