Scottsdale is an overwhelmingly Republican city. This tends to make it innovative on business issues, but an awkward actor when it comes to rapidly changing social opinions about gay marriage and other matters of import to the LGBT community.
Of late there has been a concerted effort to encourage Scottsdale to follow the lead of other Arizona cities and provide greater protections to this community.
It should. But not because of the vacuous argument that a failure to do so will harm its significant tourism brand. That’s almost laughable.
The City Council should do so because it is entirely in line with the Republican philosophy those on the council apparently believed in to sign up with the Grand Old Prty in the first place.
Because a greater mantra heard from Republican leaders in recent years revolves around freedom and liberty. The reasoning goes policies should be put in place to provide individuals with greater opportunity. Well, what’s a more important opportunity than that to be yourself? How can it be that a party of freedom doesn’t ultimately protect that decision and indeed permits overt or de facto discrimination when made?
Let us put it another way.
Republicans are typically more enthusiastic adherents of First Amendment rights. Democrats are more collective and tend toward elitists who suggest they know best how people should live their lives.
So Republicans can more often than not be seen nodding their heads when phrases like “I don’t agree with a word you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” are proffered.
To advance freedom shouldn’t those same heads be nodding when efforts are undertaken to protect lifestyles with which they may disagree, or their religious readings question if don’t down right object to?
And that’s how it should be in Scottsdale. Where a bunch of Republicans once banded together (along with a few environmentalists for certain) to save a massive swath of the McDowell Mountains. Protecting it from developers. Now it’s time to save and protect something else in Scottsdale. The right to be whoever you want, wherever you are in the amazing city, protected not from developers but discrimination.