If your company discriminates against its LGBT employees, Nashville will no longer do business with you.
Councilman Jamie Hollin, a sponsor of the bill, said after the vote that Metro had “sent a clear signal all around the world” that people of all kinds are welcome to work in Nashville. Advocates of gay rights agreed. “If you’re willing to work hard, and you’re talented, you’re welcome in Nashville, Tenn.,” said Chris Sanders, chairman of the Tennessee Equality Project’s Nashville chapter. Several council members spoke passionately against the bill. Critics on the council had so far made two arguments: that creating another protected class of employee made companies vulnerable to litigation, and that uneven policies across county lines would hamper commerce. Councilman Phil Claiborne said more bluntly what others had hinted at previously. Claiborne said the policy told business owners with religious convictions opposing homosexuality that they had to “abandon their core beliefs” to do business with Metro. “That’s a hypocritical travesty,” Claiborne said.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is expected to sign the bill.