Rep. Casada responds to non-discrimination ordinance with new bill


According to Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), Rep. Glen Casada of Williamson County has filed the Equal Access to Local Government Contracts and Services Act (HB0331). The bill is aimed at stopping the proposed Metro Nashville Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance and all future local ordinances of its kind in Tennessee.

Casada’s proposed legislation is a response to the ordinance introduced last December by Metro Councilmen Jamie Hollin and Mike Jameson. Their bill would require contractors to agree not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Equal Access to Local Government Contracts and Services Act offers that employment standards should define the following as protected classes: race, creed, color, religion, sex, age and national origin. Though it later indicates that other types of discrimination will be recognized in accordance with state law, sexual orientation and gender identity have been omitted from the bill.

From the bill text featured on the TEP website:

With respect to any person contracting or doing business with a local government, no local government shall by ordinance, resolution or any other means impose on or make applicable an anti-discrimination employment practice, standard, definition or provision that deviates from, modifies, supplements, changes or varies any term used in the definition of “discriminatory practices.”

Metro Council will consider the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance on February 15.