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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why we must help re-elect Rep. Sherry Jones and defeat Councilman Robert Duvall

The race for TN House District 59 couldn't present two starker options--re-electing Rep. Sherry Jones or electing Metro Councilman Robert Duvall.

It simply could not.

Rep. Jones has been a champion of women, children, working people, and equality in the Legislature and that's why TEP PAC has again endorsed her.

Councilman Robert Duvall, on the other hand, did everything in his power to stop the 2011 and 2009 Metro non-discrimination ordinances. 

He has so little respect for efforts to advance equality that he actually made the unusual move of pulling the 2011 contractor non-discrimination ordinance from consideration on first reading in an attempt to defeat it.  Typically all bills pass first reading together in Metro Council and debate occurs on second reading.  But he couldn't even extend basic courtesy to his colleagues on Council and the citizens of Nashville who support equality.

The City Paper's Joey Garrison explains:

Typically, all council legislation passes on the first of three votes unanimously as a way to direct bills into the council’s committee system. But, as expected, council conservatives who say government should not interfere with private business singled out the controversial bill to call for a separate vote on the ordinance. Councilman Robert Duvall of Antioch made the motion.

“We shouldn’t be imposing on private business,” Duvall said. “We shouldn’t be imposing the guidelines that a private business is supposed to operate out of. They all have their own work rules. They all have to follow federal and state laws. We, at the Metro level, shouldn’t be setting another layer of regulation.

“It’s just crazy,” he said. “This country is choking to death on regulation.”

Councilman Duvall was even more pointed in 2009 when he spoke of the 2009 non-discrimination ordinance by telling WKRN, "...but these people are going to have additional rights."  

Ahem!  "These people"--as in you people, as in a group of citizens that he cares nothing about.

Councilman Robert Duvall shows little respect for citizens and cannot even extend basic courtesy to his colleagues and the community.  And I can't imagine that he'll ever vote for a pro-equality piece of legislation.  On the contrary, given opportunities in the past, he has consistently opposed them.


Election Day is November 6.

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