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: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 11:25

slacker-

It is easy to get Gandhi and Kinsley mixed up. They both played the same part.

Now Dan Quayle got Candice Bergman confused with Murphy Brown.

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 11:30

Is that right, Slack, Moolah never threw a match? Like a said, the stuff looked legit, not fake. That really was a golden era for pro-wrestling, in the opinion of many....me included.

We went to see live matches in Buffalo, NY, when I was a Boy Scout....even then, I thought that watching women wrestling would be much more entertaining. By then, I had seen the Playboy Magazines....my innocence was gone.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:38

Loner, in the old days they would sometimes get pissed off and go off script, and actually hurt each other. Of course the referee never saw anything. lol

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 11:41

Broads are competing in MMA now, too. If you've never watched any female matches, you're missing out. Good stuff, Maynard.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 11:53

pain, women doing that looks wrong to me. Bruised mammaries and such.
Striking a perfectly good tit, has to be a crime.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 12:04

How did we get from vendors to women wrestlers? Never mind…silly me.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 12:16

Guy with a newly signed Metro contract, walks into a bar...

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 12:28

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 12:16

Guy with a newly signed Metro contract, walks into a bar...

....and orders a GLBT on the rocks...the bartender asks, "What the Hell is a GLBT on the rocks"? The guy sez, " that's a Gin, Liquor, Bourbon & Tequila on ice....I had to hire a transgendered female wrestler as my receptionist."

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 12:53

oy vey, Loner

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 12:56

Loner said

"Brrrk, her pages have been stuck together for decades."

Oy Vey!

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 12:58

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."

The thought of bud WITH clothes, (staples and all so to speak) gives me the willies!!

By: Loner on 4/6/11 at 1:07

Darge can use that joke while tending bar....if he dares.....then again, Oy!!

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 1:16

I can see Darge now saying: ''Of all the Gin joints in this town, in the world, you had to come into mine.''

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 1:25

slacker, after seeing d7, you really could picture him saying that...

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 1:40

Pain, you've gotta smoke Camels to say that line.

By: NewYorker1 on 4/6/11 at 1:42

Does this mean we can have sex on the job now?

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 1:44

slacker said

"Pain, you've gotta smoke Camels to say that line."

Ahhh... Camels. That used to be my smoke of choice... non-filter no less.

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 1:49

no.. no.. NewYorker1 you can't do that. But you can wear a Tutu, and paint your toenails.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 1:51

Fox News and Glenn Beck announced Wednesday that Beck will "transition off of his daily program" later this year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/06/glenn-beck-to-transition-_n_845573.html?icid=main|main|dl1|sec3_lnk3|208882

"transition off of his daily program"... don't you just love that. The reality is that Beck is such a albatross, around even Fox's neck, that he had to go. Sure he had good ratings, but if know one will pay for advertising because they don't want the association..... well, as the "Donald" would put it, "You're fired!!"

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 1:51

brrrrk, I smoked Pall Malls, cough..cough,,,arappp..

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 1:53

"Ahhh... Camels. That used to be my smoke of choice... non-filter no less"

That would explain the brrrrk sound...

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 1:55

house_of_pain said

"That would explain the brrrrk sound..."

LOL

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 1:58

brrrrk, did you ever rip a piece of your lip off, while puffing on one of those bad boys?
I still have scars.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 2:26

slacker said

"brrrrk, did you ever rip a piece of your lip off, while puffing on one of those bad boys?
I still have scars."

No, I can't say that ever happened to me. Just how hard were you puffin' on those things?

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 2:39

Pretty hard. Amphetamines probably contributed. Those red & black L.A. turnarounds, kept one very busy puffing.

By: d4deli on 4/6/11 at 2:50

Sin is sin. If someone lies, it's a sin. If they steal, it's a sin. No one has bothered to acknowledge that this new policy is about allowing and accepting sexual sin. Now I ask you, would you willingly hire someone who lies or steals? And now the government is going to force people who do business with Metro to go against their morals and hire people who knowingly sin? Interesting. I am not a homophobe, nor am I biased. But a spade is a spade, and sin is sin. I just disagree that Metro would create a policy that would cause people to compromise their moral ethics.
How very sad.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 2:53

Seem like we have a "glass house" resident in our midst. But they still have a bag of stones to pitch...

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 3:00

"Sin" only exists in the minds of the religious.
Get over yourself.

By: gdiafante on 4/6/11 at 3:05

There is no compromise of morality...if a business owner feels this strongly they don't have to do business with Metro.

Then again, if they feel that strongly, they wouldn't do business with anyone...after all, no one is perfect.

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 3:10

If money is "the root of all evil", why would they want to do any business at all?

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 3:20

d4deli, light up a Camel and relax. This won't effect anything, unless the TV lawyers start cranking out commercials.

By: house_of_pain on 4/6/11 at 3:24

"Have you been injured in a workplace cross-dressing accident?"

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 3:29

My Barber, who I employ to cut my extremely thick locks, is a Lesbian. I think that pretty well covers my bases if need arises.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 3:34

slacker said

"My Barber, who I employ to cut my extremely thick locks, is a Lesbian. I think that pretty well covers my bases if need arises."

Sometimes it pays to have a hairdresser/barber in the pocket.... so to speak. :-)

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 3:40

Paul Blart: Metro Sexual Discrimination/ Parking Meter Officer

I see a movie in the works. lol

By: NewYorker1 on 4/6/11 at 3:50

good... I hate sex. Two or three sweaty bodies thrashing together. Your hair gets all messed up. GROSS!!!!

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

Who the heck is are what is d4deli?

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 4:15

Nemo I'm not sure, but I believe he sells Reuben sandwiches.
Just a guess.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 4:24

slackers-

Do you think d4 would stop selling his sandwiches if he knew the person that person was gay or would the money let his morals slid with it?

By: slacker on 4/6/11 at 4:29

Nemo, I'm not sure... but I doubt you can purchase a Reuben, if you are wearing those cut out leather pants.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 4:43

By: d4deli on 4/6/11 at 2:50
Sin is sin. If someone lies, it's a sin. If they steal, it's a sin. No one has bothered to acknowledge that this new policy is about allowing and accepting sexual sin. Now I ask you, would you willingly hire someone who lies or steals? And now the government is going to force people who do business with Metro to go against their morals and hire people who knowingly sin? Interesting. I am not a homophobe, nor am I biased. But a spade is a spade, and sin is sin. I just disagree that Metro would create a policy that would cause people to compromise their moral ethics.
How very sad.
*****************************************************************

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 4:52

Tennessee is a right to work state. If one gets fired, it can be done without a reason. Likewise if 20 people apply for a job and only one is hired, the other 19 do not have the right to an explanation of why they didn't get the job.

So what's the big deal? The most qualified should get the job. BUT our government both fed, state and local wants us to hire based on sexual identity, race, religion, shoe size and number of warts or not. It's out of hand. A job should be filled by the MOST QUALIFIED candidate regardless of sexual identity or preference, race, religion, shoe size or warts.

And God still loves everyone and everything that HE created.

By: Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 4:53

First off d4deli declares it a sin, just like stealing. First there is a big deference between the two. One is a choice and the other is not.

Then his rant goes off about Metro government forcing people to knowingly go against their morals by hiring people who sin. Wouldn’t it be immoral not to hire people to do an honest days work?

When people start the clichés of I’m not homophobic or I am not bias and then add a spade is a spade, alarms start sounding just the opposite. I am afraid that d4 is just what he say he is not.

By: frodo on 4/6/11 at 5:07

new metro ordinance...vendors/contractors may not misspell names of liberal icons nor use the president's middle name....because it might indicate wrong-headed thinking.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 5:09

Captain Nemo said

"First off d4deli declares it a sin, just like stealing. First there is a big deference between the two. One is a choice and the other is not."

But people like deli will say that being gay is a choice as a way of justifying the perfection of God. After all, a perfect God wouldn't create gays, so being gay would naturally have to be a choice.

By: brrrrk on 4/6/11 at 5:13

frodo said

"new metro ordinance...vendors/contractors may not misspell names of liberal icons nor use the president's middle name....because it might indicate wrong-headed thinking."

Now I know you're joking, but the Republicans in the state of Michigan are planning the use FOIA to see who references Rachel Maddow in the employees emails... no witch hunt there? Right?

By: NewYorker1 on 4/6/11 at 5:14

d4deli, your moral ethics are acknowledged and respected, but there are people that believe homosexuality isn't a sin, which should also be acknowledged and respected. This is a political issue, not a religious one. There are people who are happier being with a person of the same sex. Why shouldn't they be treated with respect and have the same rights as you? Would you prefer they go through life alone and with no companionship or be with someone of the opposite sex and live a miserable existence?

As far as metro causing people to compromise their moral ethics, this is about AMERICAN CITIZENS having the same rights. Despite what you think is moral or not, that doesn't mean a person should be denied a job or contract because who they choose as a life partner.

By: budlight on 4/6/11 at 5:49

Captain Nemo on 4/6/11 at 4:53
First off d4deli declares it a sin, just like stealing. First there is a big deference between the two. One is a choice and the other is not.

Well Captain, wouldn't both be a choice?

NewYorker I agree with you on this statement: As far as metro causing people to compromise their moral ethics, this is about AMERICAN CITIZENS having the same rights. Despite what you think is moral or not, that doesn't mean a person should be denied a job or contract because who they choose as a life partner.

Citizens (legal citizens) should have the same rights. And all that needs to be addressed is: Are they legal citizens. NOT anything else. and then CAN THEY DO THE JOB? No special labels. Anyway that's my take. I think that when I go for a job interview no one has ever said "hey, are you gay or straight".

By: bepieper on 4/6/11 at 11:20

FINALLY! Budlight admits that she agrees with the non-discrimination ordinance!! See her 4:52 post.

She says, "A job should be filled by the MOST QUALIFIED candidate regardless of sexual identity or preference, race, religion, shoe size or warts."

That's precisely what this ordinance does, Braniac. It doesn't require anyone to hire gays. it doesn't create quotas, affirmative action, or special rights to a job. It simply says that if you want to do business with Metro, then hiring decisions won't be based on the person's sexual orientation, but will be based on other factors (for example, ability to do the job). If a gay person applies for a job, this does not entitle him to the job. It simply says that he will be evaluated on the same criteria as straight people, without regard to sexual orientation. So merit wins. Since hiring based on merit is what you advocate, then clearly that means you have become a supporter of the ordinance!

In fact, if a company doing business does discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, this ordinance doesn't even give the employee the right to sue. Nope. It's simply a condition of every contract with Metro, so the consequence of breaching it would be that Metro has the right to cancel the contract. No special rights. No lawsuits. No consideration of sexual orientation at all. Just merit based hiring -- which is what you say you want.

I'm so glad that we're now in agreement.

By: bepieper on 4/6/11 at 11:25

By the way, Brainlight, the term you are going for is "employment at will state," not "right to work state." The phrase "right to work state" refers to whether you can be forced to join or pay dues to a union. It is not the same as employment at will.

If you are going to play lawyer, at least get the terms right. Being literate and knowing what words mean are two pretty important features if you are going to pretend to know something about the law.