A substitute resolution by Commissioner Sidney Chism passed the Shelby County Commission by a vote of 9 to 4 in place of the ordinance introduced by Commissioner Steve Mulroy Since it is a resolution, it does not require the three readings that an ordinance does. The measure is a compromise from the original ordinance which sought to prohibit discrimination in County government employment, discrimination by those contracting with the County, and discrimination in businesses in unincorporated parts of the County. The resolution forbids discrimination based on non-merit factors in County employment. During the proceedings today, specific factors were read into the record to establish legislation intent. Sexual orientation and gender identity were included.
It remains to be seen how forceful the resolution is, though it does have the force of law once it is signed. It does, at least, highlight a principle that will make Shelby County government a more welcoming employer for the GLBT community. It also gives the County EEO a way of investigating complaints. We'll just have to see how firmly the County will stand behind the language when the complaints come, but we're pleased with the vote.
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