Tonight Metro Councilman Sam Coleman withdrew his substitute non-discrimination ordinance, BL2009-526, which was to be on third and final reading. It was filed as a substitute for BL2009-502 proposed by Council Member Megan Barry and twelve other sponsors.
In its original form, 526 barred discrimination against Metro government employees based on non-merit factors. It's hard to gauge intent, but the effect of the original bill was to leave out sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill was later amended to include sexual orientation and a variety of other factors, but it left out gender identity until Councilman Erik Cole successfully amended it.
The withdrawal of 526 leaves Nashville with a good result. Passing both bills would have cluttered the code or would have likely superseded 502, which was the bill that 51 groups had advocated. There were also questions about 526 raised in the Personnel committee and raised again by Sean Braisted that are important. Now Metro can proceed with implementation of 502 and Metro government employees will have protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The three-month legislative process is at last over. Sometimes you really do get the bill you ask for.