Casada vowed to bring the bill, which is sure to please his fellow big-government types, after Metro Council members Erica Gilmore, Jamie Hollin and Mike Jameson filed legislation last month that would require city government contractors to abide by Metro's nondiscrimination policy, which includes GLBT protections but only extends to city workers.
From Woods' story at the CP:
“It’s up to the local business to decide what they will and will not do,” Casada, R-College Grove, told The City Paper in January of his bill, which then was in the drafting stage. “The local government won’t be able to implement their morality on our local businesses.”
Chris Sanders, spokesman for the Tennessee Equality Project, says his organization plans to lobby against the bill on the March 1 "Advancing Equality Day," when GLBT groups from across the state will be on the hill talking to lawmakers about the finer points of humanity.
"I'm sure local government advocates will also be concerned by this legislation," Sanders says. "So we'll explore a variety of alliances to fight back against it."
Casada was one of the two elected officials (Metro Councilman and state Rep. Jim Gotto was the other) who met with some 40 business people and Christian leaders at LifeWay last month to discuss opposition strategies to the bill. David Fowler, president of the religious right group Family Action Council of Tennessee, was the ringleader.
In case you're curious about where Fowler's coming from, have a look at his Jan. 31 newsletter, in which he refers to Metro's pending morality crisis thusly:
A campaign has been launched to have Metro Council in Nashville require certain private businesses to essentially recognize homosexual conduct and cross-dressing as a new civil right in employment practices. The campaign is called CAN-DO, standing for “Contractor Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance.” But many are starting to understand the implications of the proposed ordinance and are saying, “No Can Do.”
Other than Fowler and his crew of 40, no specific businesses or elected officials have openly derided the legislation, which is expected to come for second reading Feb. 15.