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, February 15, 2011

CAN DO bill passes 2nd reading 21-16

The Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County passed on second reading BL2011-838, the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance, by a vote of 21 to 16 with 3 abstentions.

TEP is grateful to the bill sponsors, Mayor Karl Dean, all the Council Members voting YES, and the 69 Nashville businesses and organizations (including 7 congregations) supporting the bill. Hundreds of citizens from Nashville wrote to the Council in support of the bill. Hundreds of citizens from outside Davidson County wrote to Council Members in opposition to the bill. The ordinance returns for third reading on March 15.

The bill overcame three objections raised in the debate--State Rep. Glen Casada's state legislation (3 bills) designed to undo the ordinance, concerns of the small business community, and prejudice from some quarters of the religious right. Councilman Mike Jameson spoke eloquently against bowing to the pressures of the state bill asserting a proper place for the work of local government, which allowed the Council to table Councilman Ryman's motion to defer the bill until June. Councilman Jamie Hollin neutralized the "it's bad for business argument" by running an amendment to exempt businesses with fewer than 15 employees, a smart move! Council Members Erica Gilmore, Buddy Baker, and Lonnell Matthews spoke from the heart about the image of our city, their personal commitment to the issue, and the wrongs of discrimination as an antidote to the comments of Councilmen Hodge and Claiborne.

Here's how they voted:

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

NO: Garrett, Tygard, Craddock, Bennett, Forkum, Ryman, Gotto, Burch, Stanley, Claiborne, Crafton, Dominy, Hodge, Toler, Duvall, and Todd.

ABSTAIN: Hunt, Adkins, Foster

-Chris Sanders

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