The Metro Council of Nashville has been debating legislation that would expand the city's nondiscrimination policy -- which is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity -- to all vendors and contractors with the city. In a close vote, the measure finally passed on April 5, 2011, after more than 6,700 Change.org members put pressure on the Metro Council to pass this law.
In signing the law, Nashville's Mayor, Karl Dean, said the following: "The Council showed great leadership in initiating and passing this piece of legislation and I'm proud to sign it into law. Nashville has time and again proven we're a city that doesn't tolerate discrimination, and with this ordinance, we are once again sending the message that we truly are a welcoming and friendly place."
If you like to discriminate against LGBT employees, believe that LGBT students are disruptive to the education process, and create a culture of homophobia on your campus, two Nashville politicians have some important words for you: our city shouldn't work with you.
Jamie Hollin and Mike Jameson are two city council members on the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County. They believe that an anti-discrimination ordinance passed in Nashville last year, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, should prohibit the city from contracting with vendors who discriminate against LGBT people.
Nashville can't be a city that values equality and civil rights, according to Jameson and Hollin, if they're willing to partner with schools that foster anti-gay environments.
"It seems to me that it's the policy of [the Council] and my own personal philosophy to not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation," Hollin said. "If that's the case we shouldn't be contracting with private institutions with policies that are in conflict with ours."
The two council members are set to introduce a resolution that would prevent the local government from contracting with entities that fail to include LGBT people in their non-discrimination polciies. Send the Council a message that this is an important issue to deal with, and that in order for the area to be truly inclusive, the government should make sure that all its contractual partners prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.