Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a law that would prohibit local governments from creating their own anti-discrimination laws. This decision came after the city of Nashville formed an ordinance that restricts employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Haslam’s spokesman, David Smith, told “The Tennessean”: “Through the legislative process, (Haslam) expressed concerns about the state telling local governments what to do, but he also had concerns about local governments telling businesses what to do, especially the potential burden on small businesses…Ultimately, he felt the Metro ordinance went further than federal law in regulating business policies.”
Not only was Haslam too much of a coward to address “The Tennessean” himself, he hid his prejudice against the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community under the guise of protecting businesses from government. He’s concerned about “local government telling businesses what to do?” Really? There are multiple state laws that “tell businesses what to do,” including not discriminating based on sex and race, among other things. Why have anti-discrimination laws for one group, but not another? Oh, I remember, because Haslam is prejudice against the LGBT community. I would slightly respect Haslam more if had a just came out and said “I think businesses should be able to not hire a homo if they don’t want to.” Be ballsy with your homophobia, please.
On another note, when it comes to LGBT employment discrimination, we have slightly bigger fish to fry as a culture. As it currently stands, there are no nationwide anti-discrimination employment laws for this community. That means, unless you have an awesome lawyer and a supportive court, you’re going to have a hard time obtaining damages as a victim. For all of those bigots out there, that fact is a gift. For those who believe in human rights, support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a circulating congress bill that has yet to pass.