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Nashville Approves Fair Business Bill

Nashville Approves Fair Business Bill


The Nashville metro council approved a measure Tuesday that would require companies doing business with the city not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Tennessean reports on the legislation, approved by a 21 to 15 vote in the council. Companies will be required to sign affidavits.

The legislation was inspired by the case of Lisa Howe, a lesbian soccer coach who last year left Belmont University, which has a major contract with the city, reports the Tennessean.

"Belmont, which later added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy, will be exempted from the new requirement because it considers itself a religious institution. But Howe and her partner, Wendy Holleman, said they were thrilled to see where events had taken the city in the four months since Howe's departure."

Mayor Karl Dean has said he would sign the ordinance into law if passed. However, a Tennessee house subcommittee will debate state legislation Wednesday that would make it illegal for cities and counties to pass measures such as the one approved in Nashville.

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