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TN House Advances Bill to Void New Nashville LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

TN House Advances Bill to Void New Nashville LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

The Tennessee House voted Monday to advanced a bill that would nullify a Nashville-Davidson County metropolitan government ordinance mandating that companies wanting to do business with the city must not discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Tennessee state bill would make it illegal for local governments to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity which are not protected classes under state law.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin), was approved in a 73-24 vote. Casada is quoted as saying that having a different set of laws on state and local levels would be bad for commerce and that he wants to make sure laws are “homogeneous.”

Critics say this is an overtly anti-LGBT move, with Democratic Rep. Jeanne Richardson of Memphis quoted as saying “I think there’s nothing homogeneous about this, but I think there’s a lot that’s homophobic about this bill.”

Critics point out that beyond the hostility to LGBT protections this presents, it demonstrates clear government overreach.

Supporters of the bill counter that the legislation allows local governments to create their own hiring policies and only restricts them in terms of contracting policies with external businesses.

Counterpart legislation in the Senate awaits a vote in the State and Local Government Committee.

Nike Inc.’s U.S. director of governance and public affairs, Orson C. Porter, sent a letter to show his support for Nashville’s proposed anti-discrimination ordinance. Nike employs an estimated 2,000 Tennesseans. Read more on that here. Porter has not yet responded to the TN Legislature’s move to block the ordinance.

To read more on the background of this story, please click here.


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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.

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1:28AM PDT on May 2, 2011

I hope they kill this bill and keep the ordinance. I don't live in TN, but I hope those that do vote these homophobic politicians out of office.

10:38PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Kudos to Jeanne Richardson for telling it like it is, and to Orson C. Porter, Nike Inc.'s U.S. Director of Governance and Public Affairs, for publicly supporting Nashville's proposed anti-discrimination ordinance.

2:35AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011


7:11PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

John Hall, I know everyone in your state is not against gay people, but the politicians that you elected are.

6:24PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Seig Heil Republicans, I hope you are all out of jobs next election, your really pissing us off

5:53PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Republicorps are only "conservative" when it suits them.

5:33PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

To all you butt wipes who talk down on my state not everyone is against gay people .

3:25PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

I wonder how many of those TN legislators who voted in favor of this consider themselves conservatives. I'd bet a lot of them. And how conservative is it to overreach your authority and disallow local officials the right to demand more protections for its citizens? Can you say fascist?

12:21PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Here's the answer as to why the elected officials aren't paying any attention to the people who elected them.

"Direct corporate donations to political candidates will be legalized in Tennessee and the amount that can be given by all contributors will be raised by about 40 percent under legislation approved by House and Senate committees Tuesday."

11:20AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Republithugs the party of bigots and discrimination.

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