Tempe has a history of being a welcoming and diverse community. It is also one of Arizona’s leading cities when it comes to inclusive policies and ensuring all individuals receive equal treatment. Tempe’s progressive leaders, empathetic citizens and reputation as a forward-thinking college town all combine to make Tempe a diversity, equity and inclusion leader in the Southwest.
Since 1999, the City of Tempe has been offering benefits for Domestic Partners of City employees. Throughout the years, many additional milestones have been achieved. Below are some of the ways Tempe celebrates — and is celebrated — for it’s progressive and welcoming culture.
Since 2014, the City of Tempe has earned a perfect score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).
In January 2016, Pride Guides awarded the Tempe Tourism Office the “Pride Guide® USA Founding Partner Award.” Our organization has had a long standing relationship with Pride Guides through advertising and joint partnerships.
Tempe City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination ordinance that makes it unlawful to discriminate against residents and visitors on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, U.S. military veteran status, race, color, national origin, age, religion and disability. The City of Tempe bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels.
Tempe voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the City Charter that prohibits discrimination or favor for city positions on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability, political affiliation and U.S. military veteran status, except as such favor may be authorized by law. Protections apply to employment at the city and at businesses in Tempe, as well as to contracts, housing, public places and appointments to city Boards and Commissions.
In January 2017, the City of Tempe augmented its health plan to cover specific benefits for employees and their dependents who are transgender. The change covers medical and psychological services as well as gender confirmation surgery.
Today, efforts continue in many capacities, including:
• The Arizona Coyotes brought the team’s annual Pride Night to Tempe’s Mullett Arena on March 5, 2023 (view on TikTok).
• Downtown Tempe Authority’s first-ever Pride Party, which is scheduled for June 3, 2023, at Centerpoint Plaza.
• Stay tuned for more!
LGBTQ+ events taking place in Phoenix and Tempe
Each year, the Greater Phoenix area hosts a year-round roster of LGBTQ+ events and celebrations that draw visitors from near and far. Mark your calendar for the annual Arizona Gay Rodeo, Pride Run Phoenix, Phoenix Pride and Rainbows Festival — which take place near Tempe — as well as performances, parties, shows and events, including AIDS Walk Arizona, that take place right in Tempe.
Tempe’s central location and convenient public transportation make it easy for the LGBTQ+ community to explore all of Arizona and other parts of the Greater Phoenix area. Most of the area’s popular LGBTQ+ nightlife is within a 20 minute drive of Tempe.
Check out all the LGBTQ+ events taking place in Phoenix and Tempe!
LGBTQ+ Community and Allied Businesses in Tempe
ONE Community is the coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals who are moving diversity, equity and inclusion forward for all Arizonans. View their list of LGBTQ+ owned and allied businesses in Tempe.
Pride Guide Arizona is an LGBTQ+ resource guide for travel, businesses, weddings, relocation and more. Their goal to is connect our community with vetted, like-minded businesses and organizations that are safe, inclusive and support equality for all.
Compete Sports Diversity is an Arizona-based organization and media outlet that serves to connect, educate, empower, and inspire mission-driven LGBTQ+ and allied sports and community leaders, sports organizations, non-profit groups, tourism partners, corporate partners, and athletes to further sports diversity together. Tempe Tourism works closely with Compete to bring such events as the National Gay Flag Football League’s 2021 Gay Bowl to Tempe.
ION ARIZONA is the premiere entertainment, nightlife and lifestyle LGBTQ+ guide to Greater Phoenix. Check out the digital monthly magazine or the up-to-date app for community happenings and more.
- Tempe, Arizona, receives highest score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI)
- Compete, Tempe Tourism Honor Arizona Cardinals Executive for DEI Efforts (2022)
- Tempe, Arizona, named Top 20 Cities for LGBTQ Retirement in 2019 by SeniorAdvice
- Tempe, Arizona: Nominees for Hidden Gem the Best of Gay Cities 2019