Mayor Karl Dean says he wants the Convention Center Authority, along with all other boards, commissions and authorities, to adopt polices to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The requests came in the form of letters sent on Tuesday to chairs of the Convention Center Authority, Sports Authority, Metro Development and Housing Agency, Metro Nashville Airport Authority, Metro Nashville Board of Education, Metro Transit Authority, Electric Power Board of Metro and the Hospital Authority.
In each letter, Dean cited a bill pushed by At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry, passed in 2009, that made it unlawful for Metro to discriminate through its employment practices on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Dean signed the ordinance into law after it cleared the council.
Dean asked each chair to adopt a written rule or policy that reflects this particular law.
Dean’s request comes two weeks after Belmont University women’s soccer coach was let go from her job after the school’s administration learned she planned to have a baby with her same-sex partner.
Marty Dickens, who chairs Metro’s Convention Center Authority, also chairs the Belmont University Board of Trustees.
Dickens was roundly criticized for comments he made to theTennessean when he said, “We do adhere to our values as Christ-centered, and we don’t want to make apologies for that.”
In none of the letters did Dean mention Belmont, including the letter addressed to Dickens.
Jon Cooper, Metro Council attorney, said the 2009 bill likely does not apply to members of various boards, commissions and authorities.