Bill would require Metro vendors to have nondiscrimination policy

Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 1:49pm

Metro Council members Jamie Hollin and Mike Jameson said Thursday they plan to file a bill that would require third-party vendors that contract with Metro to have nondiscrimination employment policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity.

It’s the latest council proposal spurred on by Belmont University’s controversial dismissal of gay women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe, whose supporters say was fired after school officials discovered she plans to have a baby with her same-sex partner. 

The same East Nashville council members earlier this week filed a bill that would rescind Metro’s agreement allowing Belmont to use nearby Rose Park unless the school adopts a nondiscrimination policy that reflects Metro’s.

A bill enacted last year made it unlawful for Metro to discriminate through its employment practices on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Two days ago, Mayor Karl Dean directed the city’s autonomous boards, commissions and authorities to adopt that same policy. The new Hollin and Jameson bill would essentially carry Metro’s nondiscrimination clause to companies that do business with the city.

The bill would go before the council on the first of three votes in January.

“This will provide a vehicle that any contracting parties with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville-Davidson County meet our government’s nondiscrimination policy,” Hollin said. “We will avoid the Belmont situation in the future.”

Hollin said he’s still waiting word from council attorney Jon Cooper on whether the bill would require companies currently under contract with Metro to change their policies.

“If this policy is to have any meaning, we’d look at all our existing contracts to see if those organizations have similar polices and, if not, ask them to enter into an amendment of their existing agreement demonstrating their company’s nondiscrimination polices consistent with the Metro government.”

Jameson, who has previously cited his district’s “significant gay and lesbian population,” said the bill would address all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“While it won’t retroactively solve recent controversies arising at Belmont, it will eliminate the possibility of any future sexual orientation discrimination under similar circumstances,” he said.

Chris Sanders, who chairs the Nashville committee of the Tennessee Equality Project, called the proposal “an appropriate next step.”

“It’s a privilege to do business with Metro,” Sanders said. “It’s not an automatic right. It’s typical for any entity to have standards for contracting.”


42 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 12/16/10 at 2:48

This does not go far enough. All groups and businesses wanting to use any of the convention facilities and official host hotel should also file a suitable non-discrimination policy so we can tell everyone that gets to be honored by our greatness that they must toe the line for extra rights. Every NFL team visiting LP Field, every NHL team or other group visiting Bridgestone Arena must also prove that they are correct as well.

We should not stop there....every person buying an event ticket at the publicly financed arena, stadium. convention center 1, convention center 2, and the auditorium must swear allegiance to equal rights before they are allowed to enter the hallowed halls of greater Nashville. A test must be required for all job applicants to determine if they have the correct percentage of "gayness" or sexual identity confusion before we accept his/her/its application.

Seriously, has anyone not noticed that the majority of all positive growth the next 50 years in this MSA is going to occur in the burbs and not in Nashville? They are going to get the jobs and the self-sufficient people, we will still get the people who think this is a good idea. The burbs are where the money will be that we will need to find new ways to take away from them to pay for all this idealism.

By: spooky24 on 12/16/10 at 3:34

I agree Jeff. We should also make sure that all the homeless that look at porn at the downtown library must be made to look at least 50% gay porn as well. Metro police should start asking speeders if they ever had a gay relationship-if they say yes-let them go. A percentage of 'gayness' will determine if you can go to the fairgrounds to remember the good old days before they stopped selling beer-and wonder why no one came. All restaurants should be made to assure that employees can 'opt-out' if they feel confused about their sexual identity.

This insane political posturing is just an insult to everyone-gay and straight. They could really care less-and if you think they do-dream on. .

By: ChickenMan on 12/16/10 at 3:51 prevent discrimination against a group that is not a protected class under Title VII, Metro will discriminate against people based on their religious beliefs? Way to go guys! That's using your head!

By: cw1230 on 12/16/10 at 4:16

All the surrounding backwater counties would love to have you guys. Please, don't bring down a good city like Nashville with your refusal to grow up.

The situation with Coach Howe made, and continues to make, national news (not that you all watch much more than the rantings of Fox News...but I'm talking REAL news, not redneck news). We look like a bunch of ignorant hicks to the rest of the world. We have a hard enough time drawing intelligent, capable, forward-thinking individuals to our fine city, but the city is now trying to do damage control and head-off the brain-drain but also the brain-repulsion the ignorant acts Belmont has caused. They're desperately trying to show the rest of the world, which include MAJOR industries that actively recruit and employ gay people (not just "tolerate" them as long as they shut up), that we're not bigoted imbeciles and that Nashville is a good place to bring their businesses to, a good place to raise a family, and a good place to have secure, safe lives for themselves AND their employees.

So, while you all bit*h and moan about unemployment or the lack of jobs or the loss of big business or whatever gets your BVDs in a twist, or maybe it's that your down-low boyfriend isn't paying attention to you, remember that a few states in this country are sucking up all the talent because they refuse to stay in the dark ages.

BTW, Chicken (how appropo), religion is a choice. How about becoming a Quaker or something so you'll at least understand a wee bit about tolerance? Just sayin'.

To thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare

By: JeffF on 12/16/10 at 4:44

I love progressives, They never ever figure out that their little urban utopias are dying under the weight of their own greatness until it is too late.

One day, one of these folks will notice that it is not tolerance, convention centers, and light rail that raises the population of a city. He or she will notice the truly happy people live where the schools are not only safe but excel. He or she will also notice that happy people with money live where the neighborhoods are safe already, without having to fight for it. This person will probably notice these things at the same moment they notice that it is not just the bedrooms leaving town, the businesses and their jobs have left as well. But he/she/it will take great pride in knowing that they confronted title VII's shortcomings, have survived the urban condo hype and price crash (just like in the 50 other previous U.S. cities), and have built a new convention center that matches the 40 or so already scattered across the fruited plain (also sitting empty waiting for the promised convention boom).

My city sits on the hill and it demands to be different, just like every other city ~ JeffF

By: alex24 on 12/16/10 at 5:40

Jamie Hollin has been a strong advocate for schools in District 5. Anyone that knows him knows that one of his main objectives in the Council is improving the schools in his district. He took on the issue of discrimination because it is the right thing to do and no other council person would do it. It is unfortunate that he doesn't get the headlines and media attention for his work in education, because that is what he should be recognized for.

By: JeffF on 12/16/10 at 9:02

Did Jamie vote to spend 3/4 of a billion on a convention facility instead of Nashvillians? Has a voted yea to every Dean proposal each and every time? If yes, then really helping schools has not been his main concern.

By: cw1230 on 12/16/10 at 9:18

"It", Jeff. Really? That's all you got?

Some of us don't take the easy road to our mansions on the hill, far removed from the vibrance of life and the depth of human compassion. Some of us are put here to fight the good fight because others are too self-absorbed.

Like my momma always said, it takes all kinds. You like being surrounded by your own kind, and so do I. I've been through the wealthy parts of our middle Tennessee area, and I have to say, it makes my skin crawl with its piously perfect exteriors. And don't say I don't know what I'm talking about or even think it. My family was the richest and most influential where I grew up. This is where I belong, and I'll work to make it better.

If you don't live in the city, don't worry about it. If you do and don't like it, there are plenty of more like-minded places for you.

To thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare

By: racer84 on 12/17/10 at 7:10

Jamie has proven to fight for all and has stood up in favor of the those who wish to save the fairgrounds.

Keep that in mind Jeff

By: Cold Floridian on 12/17/10 at 7:32

The domino effect is happening because of the unlawful discrimination of another human being....
Nashville will rise above this ugly veil and be the city we all want it to be.
Diversified, Safe, Progressive, Young, and TOLERANT.

Gooooo Nashville!

Think before you post. You could be displaying your ignorance.....

By: kynana on 12/17/10 at 7:58

Okay Nashville let's start practicing. Stand straight, click those heels, snap to a salute and loud and proud, HEIL HITLER!!!

By: poboy66 on 12/17/10 at 8:02

I am pro gay marriage. I think folk have the right to marry whom they love - granted they are legal age. I am also pro Belmont's right to hire or fire anyone they want to. A university with a fundamentalist bent should not be made to "conform" to other people's standards. Let the free market work. If you don't like it, don't support it with your $ or by attending.

Howe's situation is unfortunate. She's a great coach. She made a decision to come out and there's a consequence to that decision. It's okay she's gay, she's just gay at the wrong school.

By: global_citizen on 12/17/10 at 8:03

You just made reading these boards a little less time consuming, kynana. I can safely skip over anything you post because you obviously have nothing whatsoever of any substance to say.

By: FLeFew on 12/17/10 at 8:05

I think it should apply to all who walk or drive on Metro streets and sidewalks, especially those within 10,000 feet of a church and the church itself, of course.
Mosques will be exempted.

By: morpheus120 on 12/17/10 at 8:39

@ JeffF: For the record, Jamie Hollin voted AGAINST the Convention Center. And anyone who knows anything about the Metro Council will tell you that Hollin is one of the biggest thorns in Karl Dean's side. He seems to vote or argue against just about anything Dean puts his name on (for better or worse).

If you want to attack Council members for being puppets of Dean, more power to you. But Jamie Hollin (or Mike Jameson for that matter) ain't one of them.

You may now continue with your homophobic rants....

By: HokeyPokey on 12/17/10 at 8:53

amen, global.

It's about time, Nashville!

By: zmania on 12/17/10 at 9:32

This bill is a joke aimed to pacify whats in the headlines today, then its back to bussiness as usual. Its a reminder this is the intolerant south and will only change when forced. Expand this bill to include discrimination against race, religious, age and political preferences.

The government doesn't have the guts to do what's right in fear of losing some polictical contributions to their sorry careers. Maybe the city council doesn't want to change. In any case, this bill doesn't go far enough. "Z"

By: budlight on 12/17/10 at 9:48

What about age discrimination? That needs to be there also. Plus, fat, ugly, skinny, too pretty, large feet. Good grief, yes, it must cover A to Z as zmania said.

By: Alphadog7 on 12/17/10 at 10:04

@CW1230, "redneck" "ignorant hick" and "backwater" are bigoted slurs and epithets which makes you, you guessed it, a hypocrite. A self-rightous one at that.

By: pswindle on 12/17/10 at 10:04

It looks like Belmont is sticking to their decision to not rehired Miss. Howe. That is called "stupid." This is where the whole state of TN is going. We are in the last century because of the Bible-loving narrow-minded church members.

By: Alphadog7 on 12/17/10 at 10:04

This bill looks like its might indirectly require discrimination against Christian organizations. Its really not necessary to protect people's sexual habits? Seems like its getting out of hand and may conflict with protecting the other things that are already protected...

By: Alphadog7 on 12/17/10 at 10:21


"We are in the last century because of the Bible-loving narrow-minded church members."

Really? Welcome to the bigot club. Imagine a world where people actually aspired to the standards they hold for others.

By: spooky24 on 12/17/10 at 11:11

It is simply amazing that so many who post here have no idea what it is or how politics works in the age of insane political correctness. I doubt that any 'Bill" to force Metros vendors to adhere to politics they have no interest in would be legal. You can't go back and rewrite a signed contract to include a provision that they be "gay friendly". Most homosexuals will tell you that a very small minority, and those with political ambitions, constantly try to stir up trouble to shine a light on themselves-for what ever shallow reason. Practicably all gay men and women I know just want to be accepted and left alone-it is their life-and I, like practically everyone, is fine with that.
To continue to constantly cause friction between groups-who normally have no problem with each other- to better their own political aspirations or to satisfy their own psychopathology tendencies hurt the issues of gay men and women more than they help.
There is no doubt whatsoever this is the case here. Most people, like myself, could really care less what people do.


By: JeffF on 12/17/10 at 11:15

My apologies to Jamie if he did indeed stand up for Nashvillians on the convention center votes. He is not my council person so I did not know his vote. Mine voted for the stinking piece of garbage.

spooky's post is right on.

By: Alphadog7 on 12/17/10 at 11:19

Great post Spooky, its the political trend du jour. Its absurd lopsided pandering, and I hope like other things it will fade away at some point. We have more important, less divisive things to focus on.

By: HokeyPokey on 12/17/10 at 12:21

"psychopathology tendencies?" What the heck is that supposed to mean?


By: budlight on 12/17/10 at 1:44

Alphadog7 on 12/17/10 at 10:21

"We are in the last century because of the Bible-loving narrow-minded church members."

Really? Welcome to the bigot club. Imagine a world where people actually aspired to the standards they hold for others.\

You take aim at Christians. Did you know that Muslims "hang" gays? Google "vanderbilt emam on homosexuals hanging". I guess if Muslims hate and hang gays, you people are good with that? What's up with the double standards?

By: budlight on 12/17/10 at 1:49

From post by alum at v'bilt: "So what are we alums to make of Awadh Binhazim, a Vanderbilt Muslim chaplain, who publicly acknowledged what those of us who study shariah Islamic law know…, when pressed on whether or not shariah Islamic law requires the death penalty for homosexuals, asserted that yes, it does. Furthermore, he stated: "I don’t have a choice as a Muslim to accept or reject teachings."

So, shall we have tolerence for Awadh Binhazim saying what he said aboat "the death penalty for homosexuals" OR should we be lambasting V'bilt for not firing HIM?

Stop beating up all Christians cause you don't like them. Focus on the good.

By: gdiafante on 12/17/10 at 2:31


By: pswindle on 12/17/10 at 3:05

We live in a Christian country and state. This problem deals with the Christians and their narrow-mindness.

By: trtay2004 on 12/17/10 at 3:05

Thank you Jamie Hollin for continuing to push through issues that are important to the constituents you represent.

Also, what happened to seperation of Church and State that this country was founded on? Remember... America was founded by people revolting from the Church of England. Why are any government issues being dealt with on a religious basis? I love my God and I love my country, but I'm all for keeping them seperated - mainly cause their paths never agree!

By: cw1230 on 12/17/10 at 3:10

Love it...I'm the bigot. So, all the people here getting into their mob mentality on attacking gay people, aren't? Really? It's allowable they can spread lies, falsehoods, and essentially desecrate my character as a human being in a public forum. They can call themselves Christians yet don't rise to the standard themselves. Yet no fingers are pointed at them. I'm supposed to be a "better" person then everyone else when it doesn't matter how good I am because I've already been condemned and damned here without anyone knowing a thing about me, my family, or my culture.


The only point of even being here and saying what I say has nothing to do with the dimwits on this board, but hopefully someone out there will see how utterly ignorant these attitudes towards gay people are.

To thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare

By: HokeyPokey on 12/17/10 at 3:24

@ budlight >>So, shall we have tolerence for Awadh Binhazim saying what he said aboat "the death penalty for homosexuals" OR should we be lambasting V'bilt for not firing HIM?<<

No, we'd lambaste Vanderbilt if it went about killing gays because of Sharia.

Which they're not. And like it or not, the Chaplain has a right to describe what Sharia demands.


By: HokeyPokey on 12/17/10 at 3:26

@cw1230>>... all the people here getting into their mob mentality on attacking gay people...<<

Were I in your shoes, I'd be a little more careful about judging "all the people here" based on comments of not "all the people here."


By: budlight on 12/17/10 at 3:30

He said HE believed it. And that tells me he believes that gays should be killed.

Are you threatening someone hokey? I'd be a little more careful about "threats" if I here you.

And people here lump ALL Christians in one pot. OK, I am over it for today.

Remember: For God SO LOVED us all. . . . .

By: cw1230 on 12/17/10 at 3:31

Likewise, others should be careful about generalizing all the lies they've heard about gay people to all of us.


To thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare

By: HokeyPokey on 12/17/10 at 3:49

@budlight, I have no idea where your mind has wandered now, what are you taking as a "threat?"


By: oomarty on 12/17/10 at 5:37

Mayor Dean has led this city through some of its worst times as a leader. We have been threw a flood a depression and we still have the best fire and police protection, roads and a convention center.

Mayor Dean represented the people in the most important of ways, as a Public Defender. He is continuing to as Mayor. Those nay sayers dont believe in Nashville. Our Mayor does he know show to bring revenue to this city and he will prove it. Ask the folks out at Opryland how much a 6 months out of business over the flood cost them and the city of Nashville in revenue before you claim disaster for a building yet to open. Theres big money in the convention business for a city with our history of entertaining and welcoming people who visit here.

I am sick of the cut taxes and government is bad crowd. Im proud of my Public Education and City Services. Reading some of the comments it may be that some here were educated privately and didn't get a proper education of the principals of the Constitution or Biology.

I do not wont my Government in my religion or my religion in my government what is so difficult about something so clear that established this country.

By: HokeyPokey on 12/17/10 at 6:02

You tell 'em oomarty!

When I was a kid I was a big fan of "Brother" Dave Gardner.

He had a name for these folks, he would have called them the "aginers."

And that pert' 'near says it all.


By: RJP on 12/17/10 at 7:05

As far as the discrimination law is that also going to be extended to people that have been incarcerated and paid their debit to society with time served and fines been been through probation way better citizen then was before but can't find a decent job because I am discriminated against! Thanks City Paper

By: cw1230 on 12/17/10 at 7:52

By the way, the Belmont story has made the NY Times and will also be featured on ESPN. Dean is worried about the public image of Nashville and wisely so. I can't tell you how many times I've seen comments similar to "what do you expect from the redneck, ignorant Bible Belt?" It's confirmation of the stereotype.

The fact is, not all Christians are gay-haters and there are many gay people who are Christians.

Belmont broke away from the Baptists several years ago and they've tried to change their public image without changing policy. Much like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which is essentially what Howe and other gay people at Belmont have lived under, Belmont officials thought they could slowly and gradually evolve. The problem with that is that the world is and has passed them by. They'll have to decide just what kind of Christian university they're going to be: the type that hates gays or the type that doesn't.

It's really a moral and ethical battle that all Christians will need to face eventually. All of us have to decide what side of the fence we're on in the social battles of our time. It doesn't matter if it's slavery, women's voting rights, women's reproductive rights, Black civil rights, all Christians have had to make a choice. Now's the time for us to make choices and decisions on equality for gay people.

To thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare

By: HokeyPokey on 12/18/10 at 12:22

So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth
And do his job like a man.
And he answered "Listen, Father,
I will never kill another."
He thinks he's better
than his brother that died
What the hell does he think he's doing
To his father who brought him up right?

Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you're only losing your life.

Tell the jailer not to bother
With his meal of bread and water today.
He is fasting 'til the killing's over
He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.
But he's a coward, he's just playing a game
He can't do it, he can't change it
It's been going on for ten thousand years


Tell the people they are safe now
Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations
We are free now, we can kill now,
We can hate now, now we can end the world
We're not guilty, he was crazy
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!