As reported here, the proposal was in reaction to an incident at a local college. Lesbian soccer coach Lisa Howe was allegedly terminated from Belmont University because of her sexuality.
Mayor Karl Dean’s statement did not go down well with one Tennessee lawmaker. State Rep. Glen Casada from College Grove will introduce legislation to prevent any local Tennessee body from extending legal protections to LGBT employees of city contractors.
The Tennessean reported that Casada’s stated reasoning is that he doesn’t want to see "a patchwork" of regulations hampering business in the state.
"It’ll say that local governments don’t have the option of requiring the business community to perform certain social functions," he said. "We’re putting so many requirements on businesses that we’re making them be the social police of the community. That’s not their role."
But Casada had been huddling with other conservatives to thwart Dean’s plans. Dean would require city contractors to pledge not to discriminate against their LGBT employees. Several cities, including San Francisco and New York, have similar laws.
Anecdotal reports in those cities have shown that the pledge has not hampered competitive bidding on government contracts.
EDGE Editor-in-Chief Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early ’80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).