Casada wants to keep cities from extending nondiscrimination policies

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 4:21pm

Conservatives are employing a two-pronged strategy to defeat a pending Metro Council bill that would require companies that contract with Metro to adopt nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.

One mechanism will rely on new state legislation; the other, on council procedure. 

State Rep. Glen Casada, a Republican from Franklin, told The City Paper he’s in the process of drafting legislation that would prevent local municipalities from creating laws that force businesses to adhere to certain policies, including nondiscrimination measures. He said he hopes the legislation is drafted by next week.

“It’s up to the local business to decide what they will and will not do,” Casada said of his soon-to-be-filed bill. “The local government won’t be able to implement their morality on our local businesses.”

Chris Sanders, president of the Tennessee Equality Project, expressed concern over Casada's effort.

"We thought we were going to have an era of less government, and this goes directly against local control," Sanders said.

Casada and Jim Gotto, who currently serves a dual role as Metro councilman and state representative representing parts of Donelson, met with business leaders and Christian conservatives Wednesday to discuss their concerns with a city bill that would require companies that do business with Nashville city government to adopt Metro’s nondiscrimination policy.

The filing of the council bill, sponsored by council members Mike Jameson and Jamie Hollin, followed the controversial dismissal of Belmont University women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe in December, after she revealed to her team that she and her same-sex partner are expecting a child.

“I’m really concerned that Nashville — and, for that matter, various cities across the state — will start implementing what they think is right and wrong, and require businesses to perform certain things before they can do business in any given town or city,” Casada said.

Earlier Wednesday, Gotto told The City Paper he or some other council member plans to pull the pending council bill on the first of three votes Jan. 18 to have a rare vote on first reading.

The idea would be to force council members to weigh in on the controversial matter in an attempt to defeat the legislation. Normally, under the council’s procedures, all bills on first reading pass without discussion. 

11 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 1/12/11 at 5:17

Contrary to Mr. Sanders statement, passage of this type bill
would in fact meant less government-not more nanny state
government.

By: wataboutbob on 1/12/11 at 5:27

You're sooo right! Sanders wants to legislate additional guidelines on business and then turns around and accuses opponents of wanting bigger government.
The sad thing is he probably really believes his rhetoric.

By: Kosh III on 1/13/11 at 6:49

Does this mean Casada wants us to discrminate against all those christians? After all religion is a CHOSEN lifestyle whose proponents advocate war(Iraq, N Ireland, the Crusades) pogroms against Jews, and other violent lifestyles?

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 1/13/11 at 8:05

If a government contractor refused to hire christians, I guarantee these bozos would be the first to play the martyr. Christians are the utlimate hypocrites. And, add in being a politician makes it X10.

By: global_citizen on 1/13/11 at 8:09

Casada is crying crocodile tears. If he wanted to hang a sign on the door that said "No Coloreds" he knows he wouldn't get away with it. It's against the law.

The particular discrimination he seeks to preserve is just another archaic prejudice and outlawing that prejudice would be a good step toward making us a more civil society. Some people just need to be dragged and forced into civility it seems.

By: localboy on 1/13/11 at 9:09

Don't vendors currently have to sign an affidavit anyway? Just add another clause...if vendors don't want to sign, they don't get the contract. End of Metro's involvement, unless an employee of said vendor files a complaint.

By: budlight on 1/13/11 at 9:13

Why can't people hire whom they please? I would not want to work for someone who was "forced" to hire me. I have a state contract and there are already non-discrimination language in the contract. Not that it matters; my company only has one employee - me - and that all it needs. I think the people who scream the loudest DON'T even own a company - anyway.

By: Bellecat on 1/13/11 at 10:06

Casada is absolutely right. This is an extremely slippery slope to go down. America was founded on freedom, and It is totally ridiculous that Metro would even try this nonsense. With over 300 million people in this country who all have their own pet projects/beliefs , it would be insane to try and placate every single one. This politically correct idiocy has gone on long enough--it is long past time to move back to common sense.

Most businesses would not take kindly to being forced to hire people who do things the owners consider to be wrong, immoral, against their personal beliefs, etc. This WOULD come back to bite Metro .

By: not_guilty on 1/13/11 at 11:42

I haven't read the proposed bill, but at first blush this sounds similar to the amendment to the Colorado state constitution that was found by the Supreme Court to violate federal eual protection guaranties in Romer v. Evans in 1995.

By: not_guilty on 1/13/11 at 11:43

That should be equal protection. Sorry.

By: ACitizen on 1/14/11 at 12:33

A Citizen
Metro should be consistant in it's approach to non-descrimination.
This is a local policy issue that extends a non-descrimination policy to vendors contracting with the city.
The state should not be trying to prohibit local governments from extending non-descrimination policies to whomever they choose as a reflection of the mores of the local community.