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.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

TEP launches CAN DO campaign to support Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Nashville

Tomorrow TEP will launch CAN DO, a campaign to support the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance expected to have its first reading in the Metro Nashville Council on January 18. The ordinance would require vendors doing business with Metro Nashville to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies.

The bill comes in the wake of reports of discrimination at Belmont University and the controversy over Metro's Rose Park lease with Belmont.

Appropriate Next Step: The Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance is a good next step after Metro's successful 2009 non-discrimination ordinance protecting city employees. It is a logical extension of the principle to examine how the city's contracting process can further the goal of equal opportunity and avoid entangling the city in discrimination. Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, Houston, and Tucson already require vendors doing business with those cities to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. New Orleans requires that vendors doing business with the city to include sexual orientation. Furthermore, many large employers in Nashville already include both sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies on a voluntary basis. So this legislation really isn't a big philosophical leap, although passage will be difficult.

How you can help: If you live in Metro Nashville and would like to help advance the ordinance, here's what you can do:

1. Support the campaign financially by making a contribution at this link.

2. Learn more about the bill. On January 15, Councilman Mike Jameson, a supporter of the ordinance, will speak about it at a Lobbying 101 session at First Church Unity from 1:00 to 3:00.

3. Let us know your Metro Council district. You can find it on your voter registration card or at this link. Then email us the information at .This will help us build a list of supporters in each Council District who can work for the bill.

4. Build the army. If your club, organization, business, or congregation would like to endorse the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance, email us . All your organization has to do is be willing to be listed as a supporter.

Together we CAN DO it!

-Chris Sanders

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