Metro to get involved in lawsuit over non-discrimination ordinance

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The Metro Department of Law could be getting involved in a lawsuit intended to overturn the new state law that voided Metro’s contractor non-discrimination ordinance, according to the Nashville City Paper.

The city would potentially file an amicus brief, which would allow Metro to serve as an impartial party to assist the court. A hearing before Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy is set for Sept. 16.

Plaintiffs include Metro Council members Erik Cole, Erica Gilmore and Mike Jameson; gay-rights advocate and former Belmont soccer coach Lisa Howe; the Tennessee Equality Project; and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. Haslam is the only listed defendant.

Last May Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill that prohibits local governments from enacting their own non-discrimination policies. It effectively reverses an ordinance passed by Metro Council that required city contractors to follow Metro’s rules barring discrimination against LGBT people.

Under state law it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin. The Metro ordinace also included sexual orientation and gender identity among the protected classes.