Our community has had a long and tortured relationship with the establishment. This is true for all minorities. They often must fight the status quo to claim their full citizenship. This is also what makes Tucson such an incredibly welcoming place. Our community championed those fights in years past, giving us this utopia to revel within. All the progression is what makes Tucson AZ one of the most gay-friendly cities in the US!
Gay-Friendly Cities: Gay-Friendly Since the 70’s
In response to the disgusting murder of Richard Heakin (and the pathetic judgment of probation for the 4 attackers), the Tucson City Council passed anti-discrimination ordinances in 1976. The ordinances prohibited hiring and housing discrimination on the basis of someone’s sexual orientation.
Additionally, and just as importantly, the Council established Arizona’s first LGBT Commission. By enacting this, we received representation within the halls of power. This commission works closely with the Tucson Police Department. Just FYI, their new police chief, Chris Magnus, also happens to be a gay man.
Chris Magnus was instrumental in the creation of one of my favorite Tucson Police Department initiative, the Safe Places Program. Learn all about it on the Tucson Safe Places page in GayTucson!
For more info, please contact Assistant Chief Carla Johnson to learn more about her liaison role with the City of Tucson GLBT Commission. You can email her at Carla.Johnson@tucsonaz.gov or call her at (520) 791-4441.
Gay-Friendly Cities: Tucson Receives Perfect Score as Gay-Friendly City from Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign, or HRC, is a wonderful organization that tracks human rights across the world and reports back what they find. We have been privileged to receive their highest for two years in a row, and we’re banking on a third! The diligent evaluators at HRC rank cities by the following:
- Non-Discrimination Laws – Tucson has incredibly strong non-discrimination laws that the county and the larger state do not have.
- Municipality as Employer – City of Tucson employees are well protected from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the city partners with progressive companies that treat all of their workers equally well.
- Municipal Services – Our city works incredibly hard to empower our pay community and ensure we have included in its services and programs.
- Law Enforcement – We have an incredible gay Police Chief, a Safe Spaces program, and the GLBT Commission all protecting our equal rights under the law.
- Relationship with the LGBTQ Community – Our community leadership is committed to our gay community and the city is an advocate for equality.
But don’t take my word for it, take a look at the downloadable PDFs for yourself:Tucson AZ Gay Friendly HRC Score Card 2016
Tucson AZ Gay Friendly HRC Score Card 2017
While you’re at it, check out all the other reason that We Love Tucson in the Tucson Accolades section!
Gay-Friendly Cities: Only Getting Gay-Friendlier
During these incredibly uneven times in our national discourse, it is empowering to know that we have an exceptional ally in our fight for equality. The City of Tucson has and continues to be a welcoming space for our beautiful gay community. It’s for these reasons that Tucson is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the US!