There is an alternative non-discrimination resolution on final reading at Tuesday’s Metro Council meeting, but the bill's main sponsor says he isn’t sure if he will withdraw the legislation.
Councilman Sam Coleman's legislation outlaws any type of discrimination in Metro government based on anything other than job performance. But unlike a similar piece of legislation sponsored by Councilwoman Megan Barry and passed in September, the Coleman bill doesn't create new protected classes.
“The Council has spoke, they have made it very clear that they want sexual orientation and gender identification to be a part of it, and I support the Council,” Coleman said.
His initial opposition to the classes was founded upon the fact he wasn't sure Metro had the workplace training and mechanisms in place to handle the new protected classes, he said.
“My only problem is just that I didn't think we were set up to handle it across the board,” said Coleman.
Coleman is hesitant to pull the legislation because he is working with Metro Legal to determine if his bill, combined with the new protected classes, would be a more attractive option from a legal protection standpoint.
“I want to see if my bill in its form, even with gender identification added to it, would give us greater protection,” he said. “If it doesn't, I'll withdraw it.”
Coleman added also weighing in his decision whether to withdraw or not is the tension the bill has created between its sponsors and partisans of Berry's legislation.
“I don't wish to cause tension with the Council,” he said.