Multiple law enforcement agencies in southern Arizona are pledging to support equal treatment for gay and transgender Arizonans.
The #openAZ campaign encourages equal opportunities in the workplace, housing, and in public businesses.
The heads of the Tucson Fire Department, Tucson Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Tempe Fire Department, Tempe Police Department, Phoenix Police Department, and Phoenix Fire Department have all pledged their support.
"As police officers, our duty is to serve and protect. Signing the UNITY Pledge is symbolic of our commitment to ensuring a safe community for all citizens on the same terms," said Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus.
Right now, only five municipalities in Arizona have laws that protect gay and transgender residents.
Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson are the only cities in Arizona that earn a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. That measures how fair a city's policies to its LGBTQ workers and residents.
“It is with great pride that we announce the signing of the UNITY Pledge by the police and fire chiefs of Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson and the Maricopa County Sheriff,” said Angela Hughey, President, and Co-Founder of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation. “They understand that there is no room for discrimination when it comes to public safety and that inclusive policies strengthen, not threaten public safety.”
The Unity pledge comes from, ONE Community, a coalition of LGBTQ people and allies in Arizona fighting for equal rights for all Arizonans.