A bill requiring Metro contractors add sexual orientation and gender identity to their nondiscrimination employment policies survived a minor test Tuesday night, putting the ordinance on course for likely final approval in April.
Recognizing the absence of several council members who helped clear the controversial ordinance on second reading last moth, bill sponsor Councilman Jamie Hollin motioned to defer the bill one meeting, a move to prevent the council from considering it on the final of three votes. The move was expected, as a handful of council supporters weren’t in attendance Tuesday because of trips and other obligations.
But Councilman Rip Ryman moved to table the deferral motion, an action the council later defeated 20-13.
Ryman explained his move by pointing out that he had tried to defer the bill last month, which at the time he said was to wait for the state General Assembly to weigh in on state legislation that would effectively nullify the council’s action. The state bill has since stalled in committee.
With Ryman’s tabling motion defeated, the council voted 20-12 to defer a vote on the non-discrimination bill.
“It’s a reflection of the fact that a majority of the council supports the bill,” Hollin said of the night’s events. “I’m glad to be on a council that would support such a bill.”
The council is now set to consider the nondiscrimination bill on third and final reading April 5.
• The council Tuesday approved a non-binding memorializing resolution sponsored by Councilman Eric Crafton asking Mayor Karl Dean and Nashville Public Library Director Donna Nicely to explore relocating the Metro Government Archives to the former Ben West Library building. The archives, currently located in Green Hills, had been set to relocate to Antioch, but that plan is currently off the table.
• The council deferred by one meeting a resolution, also sponsored by Crafton, that would remove members from the five-member fair board. Earlier in the day, the council’s Rules, Confirmations and Public Elections Committee recommended its approval by a 4-3 vote. To clear the full council, the legislation would need to collect 30 votes.