Tonight the Metro Council voted 22 to 13 to allow the non-discrimination ordinance to be deferred two weeks, but not before battles that revealed how far some Council Members were willing to go in ignoring councilmanic courtesy.
It started at 4:45 at the Personnel Committee meeting. Councilwoman Megan Barry sought a motion to defer the ordinance a couple of weeks, but the motion failed. Then a discussion of the proposed amendments ensued, but with one glaring omission. Councilwoman Barry herself never got to speak. This is outrageous behavior. It is common courtesy to allow Council Members to defer their bills and it is certainly common to allow the sponsor to speak.
Supporters of the ordinance regrouped after the committee meeting for a possible floor fight. Councilwoman Barry moved to the defer the bill, but Councilman Robert Duvall rose to table the motion to defer. His motion failed 14 to 22 with 0 abstentions and 4 absent. Again, it is notable that the common practice of allowing a sponsor to defer was almost ignored. The vote on deferring the ordinance for two weeks passed 22 to 13 with 1 abstention and 4 absent.
What we take away from tonight is a clear sense that the bill's opponents will use every procedural move at their disposal to stop the bill, just as they did on first reading when they pulled it from the consent calendar. Passing the bill requires that we never underestimate their drive to stop it.
A bright spot was the confirmation of former Metro Council candidate David Glasgow to the Tourism and Convention Commission.
Here's how they voted on the motion to defer:
AYE: Garrett, Barry, Tygard, Steine, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Murray, Jameson, Bennett, Page, Moore, LaLonde, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Holleman, McGuire, Adkins, Foster, Coleman, Todd
NO: Hunt, Craddock, Forkum, Ryman, Gotto, Burch, Stanley, Claiborne, Crafton, Dominy, Hodge, Toler, Duvall
Absent: Cole, Jernigan, Evans, Mitchell