When speaking to the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce last night, Metro Councilmember Megan Barry noted that the move to add sexual preference and gender identity to Metro’s existing nondiscrimination ordinance was moving along well.
More to the point, she noted that the churches (read: conservative GOP) hadn’t gotten terribly involved thus far. That’s likely to change as the second reading comes around on Aug. 4, and as groups such as the Tennessee Family Action Council of Tennessee and Tennessee Eagle Forum begin to seriously lean on wavering council members. This is a red-meat issue to their supporters, and a great chance to raise money going into the 2010 elections.
That’ll likely ramp up the media attention the issue is getting. So far it’s been fairly tepid, with the Tennessean weighing on the issue’s existence but not much else beyond its pro-forma pro-and-con offerings, and the City Paper and Scene staking out positions ranging from positive to petulant.
For her part, Barry is framing the issue in catch-up terms – if Louisville and Cincinnati have this, why on earth don’t we? And it’s an argument that’s working. She’s got 10 cosponsors, and all she needs in the end is 21 ‘yes’ votes to make it happen. Even in 2003, when the language included much more than employment, it only failed by one vote. Ask Howard Gentry if that affected his campaign for mayor.