Metro vendors must have sexual orientation, gender identity in nondiscrimination policies

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 9:41pm

Companies that contract with Metro government will soon have to include employment protections for gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

The Metro Council gave final approval Tuesday night of a controversial ordinance requiring Metro vendors to write “sexual orientation and gender identity” into their nondiscrimination policies. The third-reading vote went 21-15, with three abstentions, a narrow margin, but nonetheless a major legislative victory for the city’s progressives.

“This is a great move for Nashville,” said Metro Councilwoman Erica Gilmore, one of the bill’s sponsors. “This is a great step to show that we really believe in equality.”

The legislation now heads to Mayor Karl Dean, who has said the new policy “makes sense” and that he would sign it into law. Hundreds of other municipalities nationwide have similar policies concerning the employment standards of contractors.

A few conservative council members Tuesday launched some last-minute attacks on the bill, but to no avail. It mirrored the debate weeks ago when the council approved the ordinance on second reading by a 21-17 vote.

“We are sending a clear message to those who would do business with this city that we don’t want you, we don’t want your product, we don’t want your service, if you don’t adopt our moral standards,” Councilman Phil Claiborne said. “That’s not right.”

Prior to the vote, Councilman Jim Gotto told council members he knows one contractor who would end his business with the city with the new law. Councilman Jim Hodge went so far as to call the nondiscrimination policy “unconstitutional.” 

But those worries didn’t carry enough weight Tuesday, nor did several attempts to defeat the bill outside the council chambers.

Christian right organizations such as the Family Action Council of Tennessee had lobbied fiercely to defeat the bill, arguing it would force the private sector to adhere to a “lifestyle” some businesses don’t approve. Family Action Council leader David Fowler attended Tuesday’s meeting wearing a sticker with a stick-figure man and woman holding hands.

Meanwhile, Republican state Rep. Glen Casada of Williamson County had introduced a state bill that, among other things, sought to thwart the council’s nondiscrimination endeavor. Casada’s bill never mustered momentum in the General Assembly and has since stalled.

The newly adopted nondiscrimination ordinance, an extension of the same policy that applies to Metro government workers, was originally introduced by Councilmen Jamie Hollin and Mike Jameson in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding former Belmont University women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe. Howe’s supporters contended the coach was forced to step down after she revealed to her team that she and her same-sex partner planned to have a child.

In other business, the council approved on the first of three votes a redistricting map that would reestablish Davidson County's 35 Metro Council district boundaries just four months before the city's Aug. 4 election.

In doing so, the council has also decided to expedite the process to aid prospective candidates, creating a special council meeting this Thursday, April 7, and next Tuesday, April 12, to consider the map on second and third readings, respectively. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m. The deadline for candidates to file papers is May 19.

The Metro Planning Commission approved the map last week. 

106 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 6:03

Fowler is just trying to cover and conceal his own homosexual proclivities? I smell a Christian rat. Git a rope!

By: govskeptic on 4/6/11 at 6:57

Does this now mean the end to this story or is there another dragon around
the corner that the council hasn't yet found to slay?

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 7:05

I agree that this bill forces business owners to adopt Mayor Dean's moral standards if they wish to do business with our city. Ms. Gilmore is right in one sense - it is a "great" bill - a GREAT BIG MISTAKE. I disagree wholeheartedly with this bill and believe it will creat even more chaos. There was already a discrimination policy in place.

By: Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 7:20

To all the bigots:

In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz... HA HA!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIrhVo1WA78&NR=1

By: global_citizen on 4/6/11 at 7:45

I have no doubt some business owners will choose to end their Metro contracts rather than adopt a non-discrimination policy.

And when those companies have to lay off employees because of it, I hope those employees will reflect on how their company owner's bigotry cost them their job.

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 7:51

What happened to freedom of choice? A business owner is investing money and time and energy. They should have the right to set their own policies. If someone is not interested in hiring a person who has an identity crisis, why should they be forced to? If people with sexual identity crisis can have choices, why can't others have choices? Seems biased to me. The Government has gone too far. After all, they are trying to force us to buy light bulbs that have poison mercury in them and need a hazmat team to clean them up if they break. How utterly stupid is that?

CHOICES! People need to have the freedom to hire the best qualified person based on their guidelines for the job.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 4/6/11 at 8:18

Why is it any xtian organization with the word "Family" in it is really just a hate group?!?

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 8:23

Is this the thread of the day? No Reader Comments...No LTE.

Now that the new GLBT nondiscrimination policy has been approved by Metro Council, one might ask a few questions about implementation and enforcement.

For instance, will the Fairgrounds racetrack vendors be forced to include the required language in their official policy pronouncements?

Will the racing teams themselves be required to adopt the new GLBT nondiscrimination language and policy?

Will the flea-market organizers and individual exhibitors be required to adopt and implement the new policy? Will folks be forced to sign papers affirming their support for the expanded nondiscrimination policy?

Who will act as the police, to enforce for this new regulation? Specifically, what are the penalties for noncompliance?

As they say, the devil is in the details. I do not think that we have heard the last on this; there may be more rhetorical fireworks down the road.

By: global_citizen on 4/6/11 at 8:25

budlight, businesses DO have the right to set their own policies. Nothing about this ordinance changes that one bit.

However, if they want to gain business and profits from Metro Nashville, they must do as Metro Nashville (their customer) wishes. They need to choose which is more important, their profits or their bigotry.

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 8:34

Global, why is it bigotry to have freedom of choice? If I'm a man who CHOOSES to wear women's clothes, then I have exercised my freedom of CHOICE. IF I know it is an affront to some people, should I not choose to NOT do that so it does not offend anyone? See, it's kind of a "do unto others".

"IN YOUR FACE" choices are not always the right thing to do. Metro has no right to impose so many laws. Please address the Mercury laden light bulb issue. Was that a good law to pass or will it prove to have deadly consequences?

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 8:35

HighlyAnnoyed posits a relevant rhetorical question: "Why is it any xtian organization with the word "Family" in it is really just a hate group?!?"

I dunno, HighlyAnnoyed.... why do Greek-Americans always seem to call their restaurants, "family restaurants"?

Why do developers always seem to name their developments after what was destroyed in order to build them? They chainsawed the cherry trees and bulldozed the hills to construct countless "Cherry Hills" subdivisions.

The common denominator in all 3 cases may be a monetary one; yes, that could be the common motivator....in so doing, these folks are exploiting and cheapening the very words they claim to venerate.

By: Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 8:36

budlight said:
What happened to freedom of choice? A business owner is investing money and time and energy. They should have the right to set their own policies. If someone is not interested in hiring a person who has an identity crisis, why should they be forced to? If people with sexual identity crisis can have choices, why can't others have choices? Seems biased to me. The Government has gone too far.

First of all, implying that all homosexuals have an 'identity crisis' is absolutely untrue, and a clear attempt for you to frame this as a mental health and competency issue when it is no such thing. If you genuinely believe the drivel you just spouted off then it seems that your knowledge of homosexuality is rooted in 1930's -40's era beliefs that were as ignorant as they were intolerant. Let me state this as plainly as I can, a large body of published empirical research clearly refutes the notion that homosexuality is indicative of or correlated with any sort of psychopathology. Look it up on your own.

Second, how on earth can you maintain that a business has the right to set his own policies, but the Metro Government (also operating as a business) cannot set their own policies regarding who they will contract (read: hire). What you are proposing is a blatant double standard.

By: Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 8:41

See, it's kind of a "do unto others".

Great, then you have no problem with me firing you for being straight then?

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 8:48

Yes, you can fire me for being straight. And any reason you want to in Tennessee. You just don't have to say why you fired me. So you think no one has been discriminated against for being "straight" as you call it? Or White? Or Male? Or Female?

And Antisocial, please reiterate in quotes where I said "First of all, implying that all homosexuals have an 'identity crisis' ". And if you think I "implied" it, you should communicate with me and ask me if THAT is WHAT I meant. Oh yeah of "jumpeth too quick".

Maybe you jumped on ME, cause it's YEA who doth imply too much. End of discussion. Going to leave now. For God So Loves us all.

By: localboy on 4/6/11 at 8:56

The end of life as we know it ;)

By: localboy on 4/6/11 at 8:57

What's 'xtian'?

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 9:01

The common denominator in all 3 cases may be a monetary one; yes, that could be the common motivator....in so doing, these folks are exploiting and cheapening the very words they claim to venerate.

You are correct Loner; just look at Ru Paul; he is a cross dresser who makes a ton o' moola. Ask him.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 9:06

'xtian' was a first choice nickname for the Tennessee Titans localboy.
The Atheists, shot it down.

By: Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 9:13

And Antisocial, please reiterate in quotes where I said "First of all, implying that all homosexuals have an 'identity crisis' ". And if you think I "implied" it, you should communicate with me and ask me if THAT is WHAT I meant. Oh yeah of "jumpeth too quick".

Gladly bud, " If someone is not interested in hiring a person who has an identity crisis, why should they be forced to? If people with sexual identity crisis can have choices, why can't others have choices? ," did you or did you not say that?

If so, and it wasn't some other person posting as you, then using the word 'imply' is actually not correct... it was explicit! You are very clearly saying that homosexuals have 'sexual identity crisis,' which you also misspelled too you ignorant fool.

And the point wasn't that people had or had not been fired for being straight in the past, it was that regardless of sexuality, it is wrong. That you couldn't grasp that doesn't give me too much hope for your case budlight, but keep bringing up flamboyant, over the top, examples like Ru Paul so that you can delude yourself even further, as to what it means for someone to be homosexual.

By: Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 9:14

FYI the plural of crisis is crises

By: localboy on 4/6/11 at 9:16

Thanks, slacker - I thought maybe it was some low-brow substitute for christian. Or maybe someone getting excited, using an old keyboard at one of the libraries...

By: frodo on 4/6/11 at 9:22

The people have spoken. We (who live in Nashville) elected this bunch, and the Council has passed this ordinance. Some of us don't agree with it, but we live with it until the next election. Can we all agree with that?

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 9:31

Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 9:13
And Antisocial, please reiterate in quotes where I said "First of all, implying that all homosexuals have an 'identity crisis' ". And if you think I "implied" it, you should communicate with me and ask me if THAT is WHAT I meant. Oh yeah of "jumpeth too quick".

Gladly bud, " If someone is not interested in hiring a person who has an identity crisis, why should they be forced to? If people with sexual identity crisis can have choices, why can't others have choices? ," did you or did you not say that?

I don't see where I made a STATEMENT. I merely asked a QUESTION. There is a big difference in making a statement and asking a question.

Now, do you have an answer for my question? OR are you merely here to judge me for asking a question. And in answer to your question "did you or di you not SAY that?"

My response is: NO, I typed it. AND IT WAS A QUESTION, NOT A STATEMENT. I did not state my preference merely by asking a question. BUT Libs don't know the difference, do they?

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 9:51

AntiSocialite, the poster that you so eloquently refuted is incapable, IMO, of changing her long-held views.

You credited her way too much, when you suggested that her views date back to the 1930's and 1940's....such views go back to antiquity...Sodom and Gomorrah & Hebrew Homophobia. Today's "Christians" have usurped the ancient moral underpinnings for their hate from their idols...the Chosen People. Ironically, one does not hear the Jewish community loudly calling for an agenda hostile to GLBT rights, based upon their own Scripture...as usual, the Christians cherry-picked the Hebrew Scriptures to fit their own needs.

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 10:04

Those desperate for employment might think about going the "Corporal Klinger" route, ...just to get a job. Remember Klinger? He was the dubious cross-dresser character in the venerable TV series MASH.

Just dress up in bad drag, strut into a bunch of personnel offices around town and demand some affirmative action....play the media card.......it's an old trick, but it just might work. Good Luck!

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 10:05

"'xtian' was a first choice nickname for the Tennessee Titans localboy."

...starting at tight end, from the University of Intolerance, David Fowler!

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 10:08

Some viable candidate should run for councilman at large. Run on a platform of reducing the size & some of the perks, of Nashville's council. So much drama, to many cliques. Vote ''Slacker,'' he feels strongly both ways.

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 10:14

I'd run for a Council position, but I'm afraid the truth about my involvement with the "midget-tossing scandal" would surface...

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 10:20

pain, I'm feelin' good about that walk-on kickers position, if this lockout continues.
Don't let the beer gut fool you.

By: Antisocialite on 4/6/11 at 10:22

Thanks for the heads up Loner, but I rather enjoy seeing budlight flounder. Take her (I'll assume you know budlight is female) latest post for example:

I don't see where I made a STATEMENT. I merely asked a QUESTION. There is a big difference in making a statement and asking a question.

Now, do you have an answer for my question? OR are you merely here to judge me for asking a question. And in answer to your question "did you or di you not SAY that?"

My response is: NO, I typed it. AND IT WAS A QUESTION, NOT A STATEMENT. I did not state my preference merely by asking a question. BUT Libs don't know the difference, do they?

Already falling back to a completely unrelated argument instead of actually arguing the point. Only someone who hadn't bothered to read the rest of budlight's posts on this page would mistake this for anything less than a semantic sideshow. Of course budlight doesn't even realize that even on the basis of semantics she is incorrect. Anyone with eyes can see that the, 'If people with sexual identity crisis(sic) can have choices,' part of the original comment is clearly an implication that homosexuality is a sexual identity crisis regardless of it being part of an overall question. Why bring it up in this conversation if not to try and paint homosexuals in that manner. It's known as a loaded question, and budlight knows exactly what she is doing even if she doesn't have the necessary vocabulary to know what it is called.

I will not answer a question that is flawed from the very beginning. Show me where in the Metro legislation the phrase 'identity crisis' is used, and I'll answer you, otherwise STFU and GTFO with your poorly reasoned arguments.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 10:22

pain, no worries. ''Snooki'' is reviving midget wrestling.

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 10:38

She claims to be a dead-ringer for Playboy's Miss December....1966.....no, I did not make that up...it's Budlight's claim, so I go with that. She mentions her husband from time to time. Bless her heart.

To me, she's just an annoying minnow in this pond...I prey on the bigger fish....but hey, like any predator, I'll settle for a minnow when I'm hungry. Yesterday's debate with Ben Dover was quite satisfying.... today, I'll pass on the fry and fingerlings and stick with going for the adults.

I might go for a frog or two...they broke dormancy and are chirping their @sses off....mighty tasty.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 10:42

Loner said

"Today's 'Christians' have usurped the ancient moral underpinnings for their hate from their idols...the Chosen People. Ironically, one does not hear the Jewish community loudly calling for an agenda hostile to GLBT rights, based upon their own Scripture...as usual, the Christians cherry-picked the Hebrew Scriptures to fit their own needs."

What we need is a little more Christ in "Christian"

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mohandas Gandhi

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 10:43

Loner said

"She claims to be a dead-ringer for Playboy's Miss December....1966.....no, I did not make that up"

Wow! Staples and all?

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 10:48

Slacker, I've recently discovered "vintage female wrestling" are good Google key words, hit the images search button....fascinating. Some beefy babes in durable wrestling-wear. Those dolls weren't fakin' it....some serious cat-fightin'...in black & white. I'd like to see a revival of that retro wrestling babe industry.....the thematic elements might make for a great movie.

To me, watching guys "wrestle" is a rather queer endeavor....or am I just homophobic?

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 10:49

Freedom of choices and who Metro hires is two separate subjects.

budlight must be feeling better; she is back to her old nasty self. She has now said God so love in days now.

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 10:49

Brrrk, her pages have been stuck together for decades.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 10:51

brrrrk, Huff. Post recently had an article that Gandhi was a racist.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 10:54

Loner, roger that. Remember The Fabulous Moolah?

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 10:54

The thought of bud without clothes, (staples and all so to speak) gives me the willies.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:00

Mayday.. mayday.. Loner, didn't mean that you are homophobic.
(note to self) be careful or you'll blow that new Metro contract.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 11:03

slacker-

Just wait tell the stories about Gandhi and Santa Clause breaks. We will never be the same again.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 11:05

The,” we will never be the same again”...is not you and me. It is the generic we.

Not there is anything wrong with that.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:11

Nemo, didn't Gandhi have it going on with Candice Bergen? Never mind, it was Ben Kingsley.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:13

You don't believe I'm a humble guy? Check out the diaper.

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 11:14

Ghandi was a racist?

I Googled those words and got this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/28/mahatma-gandhi-bisexual-_n_841410.html

Here's a snippet:

He is known as a kindly father figure in India, but Mahatma Gandhi was also a racist bisexual who left his wife for a male Jewish bodybuilder, according to reports of a controversial new biography.

Well, there goes the spurious claim that Gandhi was an anti-Semite...apparently he fell in love with a Jew.....or maybe this new biography is simply an anti-Semitic, homophobic smear-job on a great man....a profit-motive, no doubt factors in here. The smut-bearing biographer will be a guest on all the hate-radio shows and on FOX TV.... Kerching!!

The image of the gaunt, if not emaciated Gandhi having sex with a buff Jewish bodybuilder is almost too much to contemplate....Oy! I need my meds!

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 11:16

Question: Now that we know the "truth" about Ghandi, will Metro send him a job application? It's a whole new paradigm, baby.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:22

Loner, you'll be seeing Gandhi construction signs, all over that new Karl Dean convention center. LOL

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:23

The Great Moolah, never threw a match.

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 11:24

OOOps! I misspelled Gandhi a couple of times there...no offense intended.

No offense taken, Slacker. Yes, I have seen the photos of the Fabulous Moolah in action. Women like that could easily crush a man's skull with a simple leg-scissors hold. I wonder....did the ladies ever gang-up on the male referee? Talk about a show!

Are men who love this sort of stuff Women's Libbers, or are they Chauvinist Swine?