Nondiscrimination bill survives unusual first-reading vote

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 3:58am

A bill that would extend Metro’s nondiscrimination policy to companies that contract with the city has survived to see another day.

The Metro Council voted 22-13 Tuesday night on first reading in favor of a bill that would require companies that contract with Metro to adopt non-discrimination policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Typically, all council legislation passes on the first of three votes unanimously as a way to direct bills into the council’s committee system. But, as expected, council conservatives who say government should not interfere with private business singled out the controversial bill to call for a separate vote on the ordinance. Councilman Robert Duvall of Antioch made the motion.

“We shouldn’t be imposing on private business,” Duvall said. “We shouldn’t be imposing the guidelines that a private business is supposed to operate out of. They all have their own work rules. They all have to follow federal and state laws. We, at the Metro level, shouldn’t be setting another layer of regulation.

“It’s just crazy,” he said. “This country is choking to death on regulation.”

Though the ordinance cleared first reading, at least a few council members presumably voted for the ordinance out of respect for the council process. Moving forward, the bill is certain to set off a fierce debate among members.

“The far right pulled [the bill] off,” said Councilman Jamie Hollin, one of the co-sponsors of the ordinance, referring to the procedural tactic. “They didn’t have the votes to defeat it.”

“We’ve got a long road to hoe,” Hollin acknowledged in terms of reaching final approval. “A lot of council members have questions, and we want to get those questions answered.”  

The ordinance is set to go before the council on the second of three votes in February.  

13 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 1/19/11 at 4:39

Pastor Duvall and his gang are basically saying that if racists, homophobes and exploiters of undocumented workers want to contract with Metro, then why not? Government cannot lawfully discriminate, so Metro is outsourcing the discrimination to the private sector....brilliant! Who said Metro was a bunch of idiots? These ladies and gentlemen are very clever. Pastor Duvall is such a holy man...doing the Lord's work.....he's got one of those political ministries.....he's a theocrat. oy!

By: nash615 on 1/19/11 at 7:49


By: Alphadog7 on 1/19/11 at 8:22

Loner, people with all kinds of different values live in Nashville. A lot of people don't share your view. Metro should be an accepting and inclusive entity to do business in. You can't exclude a group just because their values don't match yours. This legislation is about excluding those who don't think like you. You should try to be more tolerant to all kids of people and not play the race and phobia card so much, and not be so phobic of Pastors yourself.

By: Nitzche on 1/19/11 at 8:49

jamie Hollin must travel the hershey highway? is he married, to a woman that is?

By: waycool1 on 1/19/11 at 9:36

I hate this town. Pretty soon you'll be predjudice if you pick your nose.

By: yogiman on 1/19/11 at 10:07

So don't pick it. Don't you know how to blow it? Your nose that is.

By: Alphadog7 on 1/19/11 at 10:07

Don't worry, nosepickers will be protected by a city ordinance by Hollin and Jameson.

By: erbymi02 on 1/19/11 at 2:50

In case some of you have forgot WE live in the BeeHive of Racial Prejudice. History teaches it (Racial Prejudice) started (United Snakes of America) here and spread like a epidemic (to the rest of the freaking world). Can't think of a country that has more racist at the moment. If you can come up with some let me know. I want to avoid them.

Anyway forget about teaching racial tolerance. How about racial acceptance. We teach our kids to tolerate them other people. There are too many Businesses in the private sector that have developed there own means of practicing the race card. The ladder still goes: Whites, (men & women) first; then Asians (use to be probationary wites); Now we have Hispanics (the NEW probationary whites); then you have your other non-white groups and last but not least are the blacks. And when contracts are given out this will be the progression.

Peace Out

By: Nitzche on 1/19/11 at 8:11

when is this guy leaving this hate filled country? he must be a idiot to stay? naw... he is not a idiot, just a pontificating northeastern transplant who wants go back to his northeastern utopia, but want for some reason....hhhmmm?

By: govskeptic on 1/20/11 at 9:07

Political correctness is scorned by all except those serving in
elected positions that want to be all things to all people! They
hide their true selfs until elected. We get lots of them here in\
Metro, but unforturnaly some get relelected. Goodbye Hollins
to you and the Mrs.

By: Antisocialite on 1/20/11 at 10:15

If you are contracted by the city you are, by definition, doing a city project, and I see nothing wrong with requiring those that do business with the city to adopt the same non-discrimination policies as the city itself.

No, it isn't 'imposing on private business' because guess what? Those businesses are free to not bid on city contracts if they want to keep in place their implicitly bigoted policies, isn't that what conservatives always clamor for? Freedom...

What makes all this so funny is that Metro would essentially be implementing the same sort of discriminatory practices on these businesses as they already do to their employees... and they are the ones moaning and groaning about 'fairness.' Give me a break!

By: iTiSi on 1/20/11 at 12:17

This town has become such a "liberal bastion" it may as well merge with Austin TX, which has the same problem. Nashville is nothing more than a "Northern city in a Southern state". Proof of this is when you look at a red/blue map of the state and you see this one little blue area in a sea of red for the rest of the state. The Mayor and Metro Council are "chief representatives" of this fact. Jamie Hollin showed his ignorance when he said "long road to hoe". Anybody with half an ounce of sense knows it's "long row to hoe" like in a garden. Ever seen anybody hoe a road? Nitwit!!!!

By: Antisocialite on 1/20/11 at 1:10

Oh iTiSi, you would concentrate on the semantics of something rather than the substance. If you would care to do a little research on the matter it would not come as a surprise to you that Nashville and other population centers in the south are more liberal. There is a high correlation between population density and how liberal a district is, it is right there staring you in the face in every election. Coasts & Cities --> Higher Population --> More Liberal. This doesn't completely negate the effect of the economic composition of a district, but it holds true for quite a lot of scenarios.

There are a few theories that try to explain this, but I think it has a lot to do with exposure. Exposure to new ideas, exposure to art, exposure to different cultures, and exposure to the more sophisticated people that are often found in a city. This is also the case with many college campuses, where young people are getting their first major dose of exposure to things they had never thought about before. Call it elitist if you will, but highly interesting and intelligent people do tend to gravitate towards population centers, obviously jobs are a key factor in this phenomenon too.

You see, when people are exposed to these things they start to come to the understanding that we are all very, very similar to one another. No matter the superficial differences like skin color, religion, country, and political affiliation there are many more things that bind us together as humans. Just remember that, the next time your upper lip starts to curl into a sneer at the thought of a 'liberal' or a 'progressive' or god-forbid a 'socialist.'