Barry prepares to introduce non-discrimination ordinance

Megan Barry,
Metro Council member At Large

A nondiscrimination ordinance filed at the Metro Council office today would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes for Metro government employees.

At-large Council member Megan Barry said the ordinance will be filed with the clerk's office on Tuesday, July 14, and will have its first reading on July 21.

At-large Council members Barry, Tim Garrett, Ronnie Steine and Jerry Maynard are the ordinance’s primary sponsors. Barry has been a strong supporter of the legislation and promised to push for the ordinance last year.

Metro’s current nondiscrimination ordinance makes it unlawful to fail or refuse to hire, promote, fire or discriminate against an individual based on race, religion, creed, gender, national origin, color, age or disability.

TEP Chair Christopher Sanders previously told O&AN that the ordinance is a vital and necessary step toward equality in the workplace.

"All Metro employees deserve the same non-discrimination policy that Nashville’s teachers have,” Sanders said. “Metro ought to be free of discrimination. Let’s put it in writing.”

But District 4 Councilman Michael Craddock holds an opposing view. Craddock told the Nashville City Paper that he preferred mandatory diversity sensitivity training for Metro workers to a nondiscrimination policy that “wouldn’t really accomplish anything but pandering.”

The Nashville City Paper reported that Craddock wasn’t inclined to support a nondiscrimination policy, because he viewed education as the key to addressing workplace issues.

But, he said only about a third of Metro workers have followed through on the diversity issues training program implemented by Mayor Karl Kean shortly after taking office. The program is under the direction of the Metro Human Relations Commission. 

Sanders said the non-discrimination policy and training can exist simultaneously.   

"The ordinance addresses the real issue of employment discrimination," Sanders said. "TEP's district captains have spoken to past and current Metro employees who have either endured discrimination or are afraid to be out because of hostile comments from co-workers.  An ordinance with teeth would protect these workers and let them do their jobs.  We commend the sponsors for their leadership on this issue."

If enacted, Metro Nashville would join Atlanta, Louisville, New Orleans, and Chapel Hill as cities that already have similar non-discrimination policies. Locally, many businesses already provide a non-discrimination policy for their employees, including the area’s largest employer, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, which has more than 21,000 employees.

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

Keep reading Show less
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

Keep reading Show less

José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

Keep reading Show less