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Statewide legislation could kill anti-gay bias bill

House Commerce Committee adopts legislation to trump non-discrimination ordinance

April 12, 2011 O&AN Staff Reports   Comments

The Republican-run state House Commerce Committee adopted legislation Tuesday to nullify Nashville's new non-discrimination ordinance protecting gays. Rep. Glen Casada

From the Nashville City Paper:

Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, tried to kill the bill by amending it to exclude Nashville. But the committee voted 21-7 to table her proposal, then approved the bill on a voice vote. The legislation would bar all Tennessee cities from enacting their own policies against gay, lesbian and transgender discrimination.

“I could see where — and I’ll take hypotheticals — one town says you got to hire a Baptist that has two children, the other town says you got to have someone that has red hair,” Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove, told the committee. “I could see just a whole plethora of convoluted and ill-advised laws in each town to appease their particular constituency group, and it would just be chaos to try to do business in those towns.”

State Representative Glen Casada is backing the bill because he said ordinances like the one passed Tuesday night are getting in the way of business owners doing business in Tennessee.

Gilmore said Casada’s real motive is to perpetuate discrimination against gays in the workplace. The Metro ordinance, signed into law on Friday by Mayor Karl Dean, requires any contractors that work for the city to agree not to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

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