Effort to outlaw discrimination against gay people in Phoenix

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A traumatic experience may yet have a happy ending for one Valley couple.

It was six weeks ago when Aeimee Diaz and Kenyata White decided to celebrate their anniversary at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix. They shared a kiss which resulted in a complaint from a nearby table full of men.

Management then asked the lesbian couple to leave.

Diaz says a lot of people have tole her, "That's just Arizona," but she says that's no excuse.

"I mean really, is that allowance for that kind of behavior to continue?" she asked rhetorically.

Diaz  says she and her partner  were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, but gays are not protected under the city’s anti-discrimination law.

Mayor Greg Stanton is hoping to change that. He has a group of lawyers exploring the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to determine what, if any, changes need to occur to insure that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people are covered.

“I think that’s a big step” Diaz said. She is hoping any change will help bring about “equality.”

“ Its not just about the law," she added. "It's also about the hearts of people."

Since the incident, the Sheraton Hotel has started offering sensitivity training for its employees.