TN House Committee Advances Bill to Stop New Nashville LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

A Tennessee House subcommittee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would nullify a Nashville-Davidson County metropolitan government measure, passed only the day before, 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 by businesses based on sexual orientation or gender identity, which are not protected classes under state law.

It is thought that a campaign mounted by local anti-LGBT groups may have had a hand in convincing legislators to advance the bill.

From The City Paper

Without debate, the House Commerce Subcommittee voted for legislation Wednesday to bar all Tennessee cities from enacting their own policies against gay, lesbian and/or transgender discrimination. The action was taken by voice vote, with no lawmaker offering audible opposition.

That flips the position the same subcommittee took a month ago when it went against another bill in a 7-6 procedural vote. That bill was broader. It would have stopped cities not only from banning gay discrimination, but also from enacting their own policies on minimum wages, health care and family leave.

Since then, the Christian conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee has put heavy pressure on lawmakers who voted no, targeting Rep. Steve McManus, R-Shelby County, in a video. McManus missed Wednesday’s meeting.

The video, which was sent to conservative Christians in McManus’ district, seems to suggest that city ordinances against [LGBT] discrimination would open women’s restrooms to child molesters. In the video, a little girl goes into a women’s restroom at a public park followed by a sinister looking man.

“Will this be the future for Shelby County?” the ads asks. “Do gender differences matter to you? They won’t if Memphis or Shelby County mandates ‘gender expression’ policies on private employers. Is that the kind of Tennessee you want?”

The aforementioned video ran in campaigns against trans-inclusive ordinances in other states.

The Nashville council ordinance was approved by a 21-15 vote on Tuesday and was hailed as a landmark moment, according to The Tennessean.

Mayor Karl Dean has said he would sign the ordinance into law if passed, yet the Tennessee Legislature’s push to make the ordinance illegal would seem to dampen celebration.

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

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


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

When will the quarter actually drop in those politicians money slot? (Sorry, tried to translate a Swedish saying, not realizing the corruptness already there.) But, get real, TN politicians, there are so many other ways you can work towards making it better for your voters, like better housing, jobs, health care, day care, schools, etc. I have a strong suspicion that plenty of those ney-sayers are hiding something very private and not very acceptable among their piers since they put so much effort in discriminating against LGBT. Hmmmmm.....Makes one wonder....

Fernando L.
Fernando L.6 years ago

I know of another fundamentalist who was caught with his hands in his pants while stalking little school children playing at a local park: GRANT STORMS from Metairie, LA. The same GRANT STORMS who organizes hate fests at Southern Decadence and Mardi Gras.

Bart V.
Bart V.6 years ago

Tennessee seems to be locked in a previous era. The rejection of evolution is bad enough , but being permitted to use lies & slander against an entire segment of humanity is beneath contempt. Yes, that vast majority of child molesters are heterosexual.

Allan Yorkowitz
.6 years ago

Again,TN, another backward southern state that has its head up its a**.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Roger R.
Past Member 6 years ago

Nov 8, 2010 (10th Amendment to our Constitution)
New Hampshire Passes Soverignty Bill

I. Therefore, words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers, ought not to be so construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument; and
II. Therefore, whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force;

Therefore, all acts of Congress, the orders of the Executive or orders of the Judiciary of the United States of America which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force; and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and, of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the respective States, each within its own territory; and

Therefore, all compulsory federal legislation that directs States to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires States to pass legislation or lose federal funding are prohibited; and

but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis), to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right,

William Y.
William Y6 years ago

more asinine fascist pseudo-religious stupidity.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Enough with our homophobia----let's grow as human beings and embrace our diversity.

Fred Urbasek
Past Member 6 years ago

Mayor Dean, sign the law and let the Tenn. Congress go against it. Then take them to court. To the SCOTUS if you have to and will see the bigots on the court stand up.

Sylvia B.
Sylvia B6 years ago

Oh, please. Some of these anti-LGBT groups most likely molest their kids (and their neighbor's) on a regular basis. Anyway, most pedophiles are heterosexuals. The should keep in mind about glass houses, as they will most likely get nailed in the future for the behavior they're ranting about now.