Craddock offers alternative to protecting sexual orientation in the workplace

Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 1:30am

With support building among Metro Council members for a new nondiscrimination policy, which would add sexual orientation as a protected class, one Council member is offering an alternate path to the same goal.

District 4 Councilman Michael Craddock said he preferred mandatory diversity sensitivity training for Metro workers to a nondiscrimination policy that “wouldn’t really accomplish anything but pandering.”

Craddock said he was against discrimination of any sort and added he had even suffered some himself through the years.

“I’ve been picked on since I was a kid because I’m fat,” Craddock said. “I’m against anyone being treated differently for being tall, or short, or skinny or a particular race. Nobody should be treated differently for any reason.”

However, Craddock said he wasn’t inclined to support a nondiscrimination policy, because he viewed education as the key to addressing workplace issues. Craddock said a nondiscrimination policy would be ineffective as a deterrent because Metro was limited in its capacity to punish discrimination to $50 fines.

But at-large Councilwoman Megan Barry, who is pursuing the nondiscrimination policy, has said the time has come to protect “all of our brothers and sisters” who work for Metro.

A nondiscrimination ordinance figures to be filed soon and a group of co-signers have agreed to support Barry’s effort.

In 2003, former at-large Councilman Chris Ferrell pursued a nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation, but the resolution was never ultimately passed. (Ferrell is the CEO of SouthComm, which owns The City Paper.)

Mayor Karl Dean issued an executive order not long after taking office, which mandated diversity issues training program for Metro workers. The program is under the direction of the Metro Human Relations Commission. Craddock said only about a third of Metro workers have followed through on the training.

The current Metro nondiscrimination policy protects workers from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age and handicap.

12 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 7/9/09 at 6:02

If "diversity sensitivity training" will be so wonderful, then compel all Metro employees to have it, starting with the Council.
Craddock should push legislation removing equality protections for the those who already have special rights: women, people of color, people with religious beliefs.

I wonder how many times Craddock was denied housing, mortgages, employement, hospital access, automatic spousal inheritance because he is a lardaxx?

By: sidneyames on 7/9/09 at 8:01

If the mayor signed an executive order then the council should not be wasting precious time on this matter. The council should be working on the problems at hickory hollow mall, lack of business there, or the lack of sidewalks for people to walk on safely, or the amount of trash on the streets of Nashville thrown there by uneducated jerks who think the universe is their garbage can, or the fact that dogs are barking 24/7 in neighborhoods where people need to sleep sometimes. Please city council, get a grip. An executive order is enough.

By: JohnR on 7/9/09 at 8:59

Kosh, you made one of Craddock's points for him by calling him that. That is precisely his point. Why do any of us need to call each other names like that or riddicule each other.
I agree with Craddock. The way to change someone's thought process is to educate them.

It is interesting to me that not even that bunch in Washington has given special rights to sexual orientation.

Show me that there is a real problem with this in the Metro Gov. Keith Durbin is a great example, he served very well in the Council and was ultimately hired by Mayor Dean to be the IT director.

Everyone knows that Ms. Barry is carrying out the agenda of her husband.

By: Kosh III on 7/9/09 at 9:22


You avoid my point about removing the special rights that exist already----if education is all that is needed.

As to Washington, well the Congress and White House have been under Republican/conservative control for a long time---they could care less, most Republicans probably secretly wish gays would just get AIDS and die.

Examples of discrimination can be found in a column today in the other paper. Or google---Sharon Kowalski for instance.

Why are you so unAmerican to want inequality?

By: JeffF on 7/9/09 at 9:30

...and the flight to the "soulless" suburbs continue while the remaining city folks fiddle with smug superiority.

Has anyone stopped to think of the pattern seen in other cities shriveling on the vine? Although not directly related to the dying of U.S. cities, this equal protection stuff is one of the steps cities have taken on the road to urban decay (the road that is paved with good intentions).

The urban decay timeline:
Frivolous urban renewal projects
An overwhelming focus on downtown
Higher pay to teachers while the school continue to die
Off Budget Enterprises placed in charge of government services
Schools keep dying while the teachers union block attempts at improvement
Govt Employee pensions are increased to unrealistic levels
Schools keep dying
Opponents of single language are labeled bigots by elected officials
Schools keep dying
Govt Employees receive retirement healthcare benefit and more pensions
Equal protection legislation
Dead schools now proclaim that more money, still higher teacher pay, and reduced class sizes will save them, pay up
Casinos in downtown
City receives federal money to tear down derelict buildings

In an alternate time line all new development is stopped through well intentioned greenspace protection and the average 3 bedroom home costs somewhere between $650k and $1 million. This timeline is called the West Coast system. The first timeline is called the Rust Belt system. Curiously in both timelines there are people who think building trains and increasing the size of already losing convention centers will cure everything.

By: JeffF on 7/9/09 at 9:35

I left out of the timeline payroll taxation and the law requiring the city to hire only residents of that city. All dying cities must do these things. The first drives out the only people capable of making money and the second leaves a city only able to hire people too dumb to leave.

By: Time for Truth on 7/9/09 at 11:16

Diversity sensitivity training is IMO a waste of time. Non-discrimination laws would at least have some teeth.

Jeff, your posts are interesting but perhaps not relevant here? I see the downtown as essential to a city's viabilty, generally outside of downtown the life and death of a city radiates outward. Sprawl is as much of a cause as too much money being poured into downtown. Suburban neighborhoods built in the fifties become less desirable, so people move to suburban neighborhoods built in the sixties, etc, until they are out of county. With some exceptions one could follow Murfreesboro Road and its surroundings to the east and see this pattern. Or I-40 east or west for that matter (again with exceptions).

So my urban decay timeline:

Downtown declines with abandoned lots and poorly maintained homes

Older suburbs decline with poorly maintained homes as gentrification begins close to downtown and middle class homeowners move farther away.

Traffic issues make downtown less desirable as a workplace and a destination

Newer suburbs decline with poorly built homes as developers take the money and run, continuing to build further from town.

Traffic issues worsen as new home buyers move farther out into surrounding counties. Property tax collections in the urban core suffer.

Politicians acting on hubris and greed build unnecessary municipal monuments that help no-one and drain the treasury, such as convention centers- taking resources away from needed services.

Speculators discover downtown and build multiple overpriced condo projects that are finished just in time for the start of a depression.

Politicians debate nonsense like diversity training and language discrimination while real issues such as poorly concieved massive projects and failing schools are given little scrutiny.

By: localboy on 7/9/09 at 11:34

Didn't the court just overturn the ruling against the firefighter lawsuit brought in Conn.?
So, Kosh III, you're in the clear.

By: pandabear on 7/9/09 at 1:43

Yeah, and besides, I'm always getting it from people who don't like stripes ...

By: Kosh III on 7/9/09 at 1:59

That's because you and the zebras insist on flouncing around and flaunting yourselves. :)

By: JeffF on 7/9/09 at 4:21

I will agree with the overpriced condo step, but they eventually fail in every city, whether a recession hits or not. Those types of homes are never, ever a winner in a city. Sometimes the reaper just takes a little extra time to get there. Nashville experienced a shorter condo boom-bust cycle then most of the other cities. That is good because hopefully it will mean a lot fewer of those TIF inducing mistakes will be built.

Downtown living as an investment never works on a lot of principals. A community must be livable for a majority of people. Condo high-rises are only livable for singles, some couples, and some empty-nesters not interested in greenspace. Nashville tore down all the real downtown houses a century ago and it is never possible to recreate that.

But hey at least someone beside the government built something down there.

By: govtsux on 7/10/09 at 6:29

I doubt that many if any taxpayers would wish those that choose to engage in homosexuality to get AIDS and die. Probably, fewer still care about hearing about homosexuals. Who cares…