Bill on Sexual Orientation Offered

State Rep. Brenda Gilmore says she’ll propose legislation to repeal a law enacted during the last legislative session that overrode a Nashville city ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation by businesses that contract with Nashville city government, reports The Tennessean. The sponsor of the override bill, Rep. Glen Casada, says that’s not going to happen.
The Nashville Democrat will join state and local gay rights activists and Metro Council members today to introduce legislation that she hopes will restore local rights to ban discrimination, even if those laws are stricter than the state’s.
Local officials are still fuming over the state legislature’s decision to push through a law that invalidated a local regulation that banned city contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“It was Metro Council and Davidson County’s wishes that people who do business with Metro government would have the same values and honor their commitments not to discriminate against anyone, and I think my colleagues should recognize that,” Gilmore said. “And just as they don’t want federal government interfering in state government, we shouldn’t interfere with our local government.”
….It remains to be seen whether Gilmore’s proposal has a chance in a Republican-dominated General Assembly that nullified the Metro law less than six months ago. Casada, at least, thinks not.
“I don’t think they’re going to give that bill a second glance,” he said. “Thousand and thousand and thousands of bills get introduced each legislative session, and I’ll remind you that HB 600 passed on bipartisan support. … (Tennessee lawmakers) understand the importance of having a uniform code of conduct for business in these difficult economic times.”
But the new bill’s supporters hope to at least start a dialogue on the issue of gay rights and local control.

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