Nashville defers gay rights vote

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 23 2003 12:00 AM ET

About 600 protesters and supporters packed the Tuesday night meeting of the Nashville city council as it considered amending the city's antidiscrimination ordinance by adding protections against bias based on sexual orientation in housing and the workplace.

The council voted 20-17 to defer action on the proposal while sponsors alter the measure to allow an exemption for religious organizations that consider homosexuality a sin. Hundreds of supporters descended on the steps of the courthouse where the council meets with a rallying cry of "With liberty and justice for all!"

Protesting the measure were local religious groups, including Southern Baptists, who have threatened to move their 2005 national meeting from Nashville if the proposal passes.