Memphis Moves Forward on Law Protecting Gay City Employees

BY Neal Broverman

September 19 2012 2:03 PM ET

Gay city employees in Memphis, Tenn. are breathing easier as the City Council moved forward on an ordinance protecting them from being fired for their sexual orientation.

The ordinance initially passed  7-5, but will take a month before its officially law, as officials gather information on the bill's affect on the city charter. Before the ordinance, the city did not have any law on the books that specifically protected city employees from discrimination based on age, race, gender or sexual orientation. The new legislation will not affect transgender employees. Read more here.

A bill passed by Republican Tennessee governor Bill Haslam last year made it nearly impossible for state municipalities to pass protections for LGBT people that go beyond what the state offers in nondiscrimination protections, which is none. Haslam's bill, though, was not so far-reaching that it banned cities, towns, and counties from protecting its own employees from being fired or passed over for promotions because of who they are.

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