Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Metro Nashville NDO passes second reading

The non-discrimination ordinance sponsored by 10 Council Members that would protect Metro employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity passed on second reading 23 to 16 with 1 abstaining. Third reading takes place on September 15.

This is a great victory because the bill has now gone further than the ordinance in 2003 went in the process. Council Member Megan Barry and the other 9 sponsors have done a great job keeping their votes together. Over 40 organizations have helped convince the majority of Council Members so far that the ordinance has merit. Council Members Barry, Ronnie Steine, and Erik Cole spoke eloquently for the ordinance despite some rhetoric against the bill that was difficult to hear.

Much of the attention in the debate focused on Councilman Sam Coleman's substitute ordinance. His supporters attempted to defer Barry's bill, but they failed when Councilman Cole successfully tabled the motion to defer Barry's bill 22 to 18.

Here's how they voted on the Barry non-discrimination ordinance:

AYE: Garrett, Barry, Steine, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Jameson, Cole, Jernigan, Page, Moore, LaLonde, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Evans, Holleman, McGuire, Adkins, Wilhoite, Todd, and Mitchell.

NO: Tygard, Craddock, Murray, Forkum, Ryman, Gotto, Burch, Stanley, Claiborne, Crafton, Foster, Dominy, Hodge, Toler, Coleman, and Duvall.

ABSTAIN: Bennett


Julia said...

Here's what my Councilman has to say on all this:

On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 12:52 PM, Phillip Claiborne wrote:

This is the language of the Coleman bill which is patterned after the D.C. ordinance. You tell me which one offers the greater protection to Metro’s workers. By the way I am the co-sponsor of the bill.


Section 1. That Chapter 11.20 of the Metropolitan Code, Fair Employment and Housing, is hereby amended by adding the following new Section 11.20.075:

11.20.075 Metropolitan government prohibited from discriminating on the basis of non-merit factors.

It is unlawful for the metropolitan government to discriminate against any person in recruitment, examination, hiring, appointment, training, promotion, retention, or employee discipline because of the person’s race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, disabling condition, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, group membership, personal beliefs, traits, or other non-merit factor not substantially related to successful performance of the duties of the position.

By CL Berry and CM Stein's own admission last evening the Coleman bill goes far
beyond the Berry bill to address discrimination in the Metro work place.
Stein even said in his remarks that he was ecstatic about the language in
the bill. The bill is in fact very similar to the discrimination policy of
Washington D.C and several other cities in the country.

The choice is simple; do we move to protect all individuals and groups
against discrimination in the workplace or do we selectively protect a small
group to the exclusion of all others.

CM Claiborne

I think he makes a good point and don't see why we would be fighting against this second ordinance since it is more encompassing and helps more people.

Chris Sanders said...

Thanks for contacting him and eliciting a response on his bill. This will help us as we continue to advocate for the Barry bill, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

I didn't notice gender identity in his list. We think protection from discrimination based on gender identity is very important. Claiborne's bill only seems broader, but most of the factors he lists are already covered in law.