Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tomorrow is an important day for civil rights.

Vibinc has already noted this, so I am shamelessly stealing his post:

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for activists seeking equal protection for people in the GLBT community. In Nashville, HB 0335 sponsored by Jeanne Richardson of Memphis is before the House Judiciary Committee, but there’s also something going on right here in Shelby County. County Commissioner Steve Mulroy has introduced anon-discrimination ordinance. Tomorrow is the first reading of the ordinance.

You can read the ordinance here, but essentially the measure provides protections against discrimination for people based on their sexual orientation/gender identity in the County government, by contractors for the county government, and by private employers in the unincorporated areas of Shelby Co.

This ordinance is scheduled to be read for the first time tomorrow. It will have to be read 6 times, 3 in the General Government Committee and 3 in front of the entire County Commission.

Contact your County Commissioners at (901) 545-4301 or via email below, and show your support for this ordinance.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I support that governments should not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, and gender identity/sexual orientation. However, I do want to warn against governments trying to force their contractors and subcontractors (some of which may be very small firms and/or religious social organizations)to follow suit.

I know whereof I speak. I used to work for a bureaucracy that shall be nameless, a government entity famous for its progressive approach. When its non discrimination on the basis of G.I. or S.O. was extended to its contractors, some of the most vital functions of government could not take place because they couldn't find a politically-correct place to requisition such basic supplies as fax and copier paper.

This meant that emergency alerts between police and child protective services in neighboring counties could not go through.

I would support the ordinance wholeheartedly if Memphis and/or Shelby County makes it apply to employees, not contracted suppliers. The law of unintended consequences will bite one on the ass.

Steve Steffens said...

If they want the contracts, they had better get with the program.

Anonymous said...

The government entity of which I speak (not local) had a very good domestic-partners-benefits policy for its employees, which was widely supported by staff and management. But the problem is that not all supplies and services used by a large government are locally produced. If you have a very large government group, which uses a lot of supplies or contracted services, you may be buying something from, say, a small company elsewhere in Tennesse, or in Texas. It may seem like a simple matter to replace a recalcitrant subcontractor with a cooperative one, but it may not be possible.

We see this on the national level with China and its human rights violations. Our finances are so tied up with China's that we can't afford to anger them.

I'm not saying don't pass the ordinances, state and local. I'm saying I want to see how they define the "noncompliant" contractors and whether there is an alternate source for what they have to offer. Again, this is based on experience, not ideals.

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