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01/13/2011

Music City seeks greater harmony; state rep hums discordant tune

by Jeremy Hooper

Nashville, TN, city council members are considering a bill that would require contractors doing business with the city to comply with local non-discrimination policies pertaining to gay, lesbian and transgender employees. In short: You profit from a city contract, you treat your LGBT employees in the fair way that city policy already requires.

Clen-CasadaBut of course where there's benign progress that benefits the LGBT population, there's a conservative lawmaker to step in and keep said population from getting too cocky. In this case, it's a Tennessee state Representative, Glen Casada (pic, l.). This from The Tennessean:

Rep. Glen Casada, R-College Grove, said the bill, which he hopes to file next week, would keep local governments across the state from adopting "a patchwork" of policies toward businesses.

"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."

Williamson lawmaker plots against Nashville's anti-gay bias bill [Tennessean]

Riiiiiight. Businesses become "the social police" when they simply say, "Hey, you can't wantonly fire people simply because of who they are." That's a concept so unfortunately typical among those who wish to turn themselves into "the morality court."

But in truth: The concept that is judging an employee on the basis of their performance rather than his or her characteristics is in no way a prison. Instead, it's a no-brainer notion that will, over time, free of us discrimination's last shackles. Just like so many forms of discrimination to come before, anti-LGBT bias has more than shown its face on the American landscape. If a government of the people -- ALL people -- pinpoints a real world problem that threatens our constitutional promises and then pushes for a remedy, then that governing body is not overstepping its role: It's instead helping to fulfill our overdue national dream.

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