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.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

HB600 gave Governor Haslam a touch of heartburn

The Knoxville News Sentinel's Tom Humphrey caught up with Governor Bill Haslam recently when the state's chief executive was ordering a redneck burrito, which he described as "good but caused a bit of indigestion."

Humphrey picks up the image later in the piece when he gets to HB600, the Special Access to Discriminate law:

Still, he said, dealing with legislators can be "incredibly important" even if unsettling on occasion.

Of the bills he signed this year, Haslam said the one causing most heartburn was a measure that overrode a Nashville city ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation by companies contracting with the city.

"That was a huge philosophical problem," he said, creating a conflict between his belief that government should put as few restrictions as possible on business and his belief that "local governments should get to decide most things for themselves."

Yeah, that one caused some stomach acid for us, too, Governor Haslam. Perhaps Tennessee should remove these discriminatory delicacies from our diet.

Of course, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey said that this year was "just an appetizer" of what is to come. Let's all stock up on antacid tablets! And, um, let's work to pass SB2121 introduced by Sen. Jim Kyle to repeal HB600.

-Chris Sanders

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