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Is Nashville finally ready to ban workplace discrimination against gay and lesbian city workers? Surprisingly, the answer could be yes. In two weeks, the Metro Council is expected to pass this legislation without much of the furor that usually accompanies the mention of making laws here to treat gay people fairly. That's the topic of this week's cover story
in the Scene
dead-tree edition. Evangelicals have orchestrated an email campaign in an 11th-hour attempt to defeat the ordinance. For your reading pleasure, here's a sampling of the comments landing in the email boxes of council members:
Comments: I remember 30+ years ago when homosexuals only wanted to be left alone and they would not cause troubles in the community. Even then I believed they had a much larger agenda. Time has shown my belief to be true. Even today I believe they want more than what this bill will give them.
Do you want your child or grandchild be taught by them where they have the law behind them to teach homosexuality in our schools. You may say that they do not want that. Do not let their words convince you that they do not want this. They want it. Don't be sorry in the future that you had an opportunity to stop them but, by your vote, you did not stop them.
In 1975 and 1995 I fought authorizing homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle and we won. This was in Anchorage Alaska. It can be done here.
I do not hate the homosexual but I do hate the lifestyle.
Comments: Please vote no on BL-2009-502. This proposal is completely at odds with the values of the vast majority of citizens here in Middle TN.
Our opposition to this bill is out of love and compassion for the homosexual community as well as the rest of Nashville. It is not "loving" for government to approve of or protect a sexual lifestyle that is clearly unhealthy and a perversion of God's natural design for intimacy, marriage and procreation. While it may be "politically correct" to adopt this type of ordinance in our modern culture, no civilization in human history has survived after legally approving of same sex marriage. This is a very dangerous path for the city to take.
Thanks for considering our opinion.
Dr & Mr Lee McCroskey
Comments: I am voicing my opinion on this possible amendment considering sexual orientation and gender identity. It is outlandish to consider this reasonable to add to protected status against discrimination.
Whom someone chooses to have sex with is not apparent upon sight which is what these discrimination ordinances are for so someone is not discriminated against when applying for a job.
It also puts those organizations, such as religious based, in a moral delimma. If the organization's main goal is to abide by the Bible they cannot hire those who claim to live a homosexual lifestyle because the Bible is clear on that issue. It does not mean they hate the homosexual person, but, obviously, a person who doesn't abide by the organization's moral guide, the Bible, will not be a good fit for that organization. It also puts pastors in a moral delimma.
Please reconsider your position on this. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Comments: Metro Council Members- I urge you to vote against this gay rights ordinance which sets a wrong precedent for sexual choice in our government & society. Individual rights are already protected in our nation & this step only opens the door for more government control & interference. We are heading toward more socialist control by the
government & don't need to be told how to live our private lives. We have the Bible for that, don't we? Do the right thing & vote it down.
D. Mark Hills
Dear Council Members,
It has been brought to my attention that you will be voting on this bill in September to extend non-discriminative rights to gays, cross gender, and other employees with destructive life styles.
Considering the costs it will involve of covering these people for medicial treatments due to their destructive lifestyle, I strongly oppose this bill. You wouldn't want to hire someone who is currently an alcoholic or hooked on drugs. In my mind these two examples are lifestyle choices people make. The gay community is addicted to their lifestyle the same way a drug addict is addicted to drugs. They need professional help and our compassion, but they don't need us saying that this type of lifestyle is normal. Anyone who has been in a public restroom with a man dressed up like a woman, knows what I'm talking about. Do you feel totally comfortable being in that type of environment with a transgender/cross-dresser? I sure don't and I don't imagine many people do. Would you go to a social worker that used to be a man? You go to certain professionals for their advice because you need help. In my view, these are the people who need help.
Please remember that you are voting how to spend our tax dollars. Please do it wisely and realistically. We will never profit and succeed if our money is being thrown away to support these people. I wouldn't mind giving my money for them to get counseling, but to say that they are perfectly normal, is out of the question.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
This bill is unnecessary because we already have protections for all people. If passed this bill will ultimately cost the tax payers of Davidson County for litigation. Additionally this bill goes against my Christian beliefs. ..I strongly urge you along with 3500 + members at our Church to vote against this bill on 3rd reading.
Comments: I oppose this legislation because it creates new civil rights that are not found in our Constitution and gives legal recognition to "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," states of mind that are not immutable characteristics like race, gender, national origin, etc. Also, this is a solution in search of a problem. For the last three years, Metro government has not documented even one case of anyone filing a grievance over employment discrimination based on their homosexuality. Ultimately, this is a step toward forcing the private sector to legally condone homosexuality.
Creating new civil rights based on one's sexual orientation and self-identity not only affirms by law behavior contrary to God's design (Genesis 1, 19, Leviticus 18, 20, Romans 1, I Corinthians 6, I Timothy 1, etc.), but it also creates legal problems for the state and for employers. Since sexual orientation and gender identity are states of mind that are impossible to prove, the inevitable lawsuits alleging discrimination will be a challenge to defend. And these new civil rights are on a collision course with First Amendment rights to religious liberty and freedom of association.
Once BL-2009-502 is passed in Nashville, the likely next step will be to impose this on the private sector. Shelby County Commissioner, Steve Mulroy and others, tried to impose their ordinance on the private sector in June 2009, and I believe that is why it narrowly failed. If the Nashville BL2009-502 proponents are clever, they will make an exemption for churches on the next expansion of the law in hopes that pastors and denominational leaders will look the other way and not get involved. Once, the private sector is forced to recognize sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, in their businesses and non-profit organizations, religious organizations and eventually churches will be forced by law to accommodate these behaviors as well or be punished.
Please vote NO on BL2009-502.
Comments: I am sorely disappointed in those 23 council members who voted in favor for this ordinance. At the next reading of this ordinance I respectfully suggest to these 23 council members that they remember that Davidson county as well as Tennessee is not FOR homosexuality and so to approve this ordinance is to go against the wishes of their constituency. Again upon the third reading of this ordinance vote no to it adoption.
Shannon W. Whipp