Strike another blow to LGBT civil rights in Tennessee
Gov. Bill Haslam has signed the bill reversing Metro's new nondiscrimination ordinance, dealing a blow to opponents who had mounted a campaign urging him to veto the bill.
The bill effectively reverses an ordinance passed by the Metro Council that required contractors with the city to agree to follow Metro's rules barring discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgendered people.
The move comes despite an effort by opponents of the bill to convince Haslam not to sign the bill, which passed by a more than two-thirds margins in the Republican-led state legislature. Gay rights activists from across the country have been pushing companies to issue statements against with the legislation.
The campaign led the executive committee of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which had supported the bill while it was in the legislature, to reverse its position Monday.
"The Tennessee Chamber supports a standard regulatory environment at the state level as opposed to potentially conflicting local regulations covering employment practices," the executive committee said in a statement released late Monday.
"That principle was the only interest the Chamber had in this bill. Because (the bill) has turned into a debate on diversity and inclusiveness principles, which we support, we are now officially opposing this legislation in its present form."
AmericaBlog has been been closely following the anti-gay legislation in Tennessee and helped launch a nationwide campaign to boycott the companies which had supported the TN Chamber of Commerce's support of the anti-gay bill.