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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Closed door meeting to conspire against equality legislation


Today at 7:00 a.m. there was a closed door meeting at LifeWay in Nashville that should concern every Tennessean who cares about equality.
Certain business leaders along with Metro Councilman/State Representative Jim Gotto and Rep. Glen Casada met with the Family Action Council of Tennessee to work not only against the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance up for first reading in Metro Council on January 18, but against all local ordinances across Tennessee that would affect how municipalities conduct relationships with their vendors. The Tennessean obtained a copy of the email invitation.

Here's what we know about the meeting:

Secretive: Despite the fact that public officials were discussing legislation affecting the public, reporters such as the City Paper's Joey Garrison were turned away and told to wait outside.

Tactics Revealed: According to Councilman/State Representative Gotto, he or some other Council Member will attempt to pull the contract ordinance from the consent agenda on first reading and kill it then: “I feel certain that someone would pull the bill on first reading,” Gotto said. “If somebody doesn’t, then I more than likely will."

Statewide Master Plan: Our source who was present for the meeting indicates there are plans to look at ways to limit the ability of municipalities to add factors like gender identity and sexual orientation to their contracting policies. That would surely explain the presence of a Williamson County representative at a meeting related to a Metro Nashville issue.

The atmosphere of fear, secrecy, and conspiracy to limit the rights of cities and the state's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community is disturbing. This is not way good public policy that brings progress to Tennessee is made.

-Chris Sanders